“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.” — Martin Luther King, Jr.
This quote means a lot to me because through my circumstances I continued to move forward. When I was 10 years old I lost my father and about a year later my mother passed away. The pain that I felt is something that I can’t explain and I pray that no child experiences it. My reaction to the loss led to depression; loss of appetite, a deep feeling of hopelessness, mood swings, social isolation and anxiety, and I even had thoughts of suicide. It took years for me to mentally compartmentalize what happened and how to find peace. I knew I had to be strong, so I made a decision to escape the mental black hole that had engulfed me.
Instead of playing the victim role, I chose to conquer those obstacles. Instead of being depressed (which I was for a while), I chose to stand for myself. Instead of giving up on life and throwing it all away, I chose to live and become the woman I knew my parents would’ve wanted me to be. Instead of pointing the fingers at others and blaming them for my circumstances, I chose to find strength and move forward.
I decided to focus on school, cling to positive people and keep myself busy with school activities. Despite the circumstances I chose to not adhere to the victim role. I knew the type of life that I wanted to live and didn’t want to let myself down. I probably would’ve been an alcoholic or drug addict if I let my circumstances take over my life.
People often define themselves by their circumstances, but life taught me that was incorrect. There are constant negative consequences when you operate with this thinking. When we define ourselves by these circumstances it actually gives us excuses to not grow and to remain in a hopeless place of pain. I am not an expert on life, however I am aware of a simple principle that always works. We don’t control certain situations but do control our reaction.
Regardless of what you’re facing in life right now, YOU are the one person that can change it. You have the power and ability to create a reality that makes you happy. The story of your life isn’t defined by the past chapters but by what you write moving forward.
So, I am asking you, what are you defining yourself by?