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Don’t Let Your Past Define Your Future

I was talking to a friend last week about how we sometimes get stuck and let our pasts define our future.  Up until that conversation I hadn’t put much thought into it but looking back she was right.

I had a decent childhood, at least I thought so but now I am not so sure.  I grew up in a very small town, think Mayberry.  We played outside from sun up to sun down, swam in the local pool and even went to the same schools that my mother attended.  One set of grandparents lived within walking distance and took every opportunity to spoil us rotten.  Sounds great huh?  Now take a closer look inside of our home.  My parents had been more like roommates than a loving couple for as long as I can remember.  I know they had to have had some love for each other at some point but that love eroded into hatred over the years.  They stayed together “for the children” but that decision actually did more harm than good and has effected our relationships for many years to come.

Why have we all struggled with personal relationships?  Was it because we didn’t know any different?  Maybe we thought we didn’t deserve anything better.  I think we have finally broken that mold, sadly it took about thirty years to do so.  We are all now in stable relationships and I think we are all finally happy.

I can only speak for myself and my individual choices.  The other’s have their own stories to tell and I am sure they will when they feel the time is right.  So from here on out, these words are mine.

For many years I let myself associate with men who had no true feelings for me.  They had one need, one want and I happened to be the female standing there, willing to do whatever as long as I got attention.  I never believed that I deserved a good man, never had the confidence to put my needs before everyone else’s.  Sadly, I thought I was happy.  I can’t believe how wrong I was.

So what changed?  I got tired of being unhappy.  Tired of being alone.  Tired of seeing everyone else get the very things I wanted most in this world.  I stopped making excuses and finally took control of my own life.  I stopped blaming others for my actions.  I realized that is was OK to tell people what I was feeling, good or bad.  I realized that if people don’t like me for whatever reason, that’s on them.  It really has nothing to do with me and in reality, do I want to have people in my life who don’t want to be?  No, I am better than that.  I deserve more.  No, I deserve the best!

Would I have lived a different life if I had Ward and June Cleaver as parents?  I can’t say for sure, I can only play the cards I was dealt.  But in the end, I let my parent’s actions rule my life.  I made the same mistakes they did.  By doing that I became a sad, scared shell of a person and hated every day of my life.  Am I placing the blame for my life’s choices on my parents?  No, not really.  I think they did the best they could but just did not have the tools to make better choices and show a better example for their children.

After I begin to make some changes in my life my personal relationships blossomed.  Some men were great, some not so much but I needed each and every one of these men to become who I am today.  And without the bad ones, I would not be able to appreciate the man who would eventually become my husband.  Our life isn’t always perfect but its pretty damn good and I thank God everyday for both him and our children.  I guess looking back on my life, good or bad, I wouldn’t change a thing.

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