What if I wasn’t forced into independence as a teenager? What if we didn’t lose the home my family and I grew up in? What if I never experienced some of the many social ills that plague our society like homelessness? What if I didn’t have to sleep in a closet for over a year? What if I didn’t have to figure out where my next meal was going to come from? What if I grew up in a loving two parent home? What if I never lived in a group home? What if I didn’t graduate from high school? What if my social worker and house “mom” from the at-risk teen program I was involved with hadn’t dropped me off on campus after I was accepted into college? What if I didn’t graduate from college? What if…?
While it is easy to ask and wonder about “what if”, I do my very best to live in the moment. We cannot be too concerned with how our past could have been different if a few events were altered. Every time my mind starts to wander off into the past and how different my life could have been had I not experienced some of the things I experienced, I stop to think about the man I have become as a result of those experiences and the invaluable lessons I learned as a result of my resilience. Our past and all of the events that have happened to us was supposed to happen in order to create the wonderful human beings we are today.
Imagine if you lived a life free of problems. Some people think that this is bliss but I beg to differ. Our problems are what give us strength to endure. Our past helps us to appreciate the present. No matter what it is you’ve been through in life, it is all to make you into the amazing human being you have become. There are no accidents. You were supposed to go through exactly what you went through at the time you were going through it in order to blossom into the precious flower you’ve become. You are not your problems, rather the sum of what it takes to overcome such perils.
Are your days of experiencing turmoil over? Perhaps and perhaps they are not. The key is to understand that the pain and suffering we have been fortunate enough to experience and continue to experience is so that we can serve as an example of what is possible. Furthermore, it is so that we can serve as a testimony of strength, resilience, determination, fortitude and the incredible will to survive. No matter what happened in the past understand that it is over and done with. Your present and your future are in your hands; take control and be the example of the incredible capabilities of mankind when giving up is not an option.
Understand that you cannot have a testimony without first going through a test.
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