Your Past Does Not Define You

It doesn't matter that you were once bankrupt, living on the street, eating nothing but ramen noodles or slumped into a depression you thought you'd never escaped, the very fact that you have managed to push through these challenges is proof positive that you are fare more extraordinary than you realise. 

When you wish for more money, you're not handed it, you're given the opportunity to create it. 

If you wish for courage, you aren't made fearless but rather given the opportunity to be courageous. 

If you wish for success, you aren't granted it immediately but rather you're given the opportunity to succeed. 

Every experience you may feel ashamed of or feel may hinder you in some way is actually a shining example of your strength and persistence. 

The trick is to learn from those experiences. 

There are those that go bankrupt and make it a cycle throughout their lives, filing for bankruptcy then racking up debt as soon as they're able, only to need to file again. Then there are those who file for bankruptcy and take the restriction period to refocus their spending and saving habits. Not willing to go back to a life of such dire restrictions and the feeling of failure, these people learn the value of money, learn how to invest it, how to save, how to budget. No longer reliant on a credit card, the are forced to budget, forced to think about what that money could buy and if this purchase is really worth it. These are the people who go on to succeed, to achieve a dream of financial freedom, or at least lifelong freedom from debt.

There are those who slip into a great despairing depression, even those who fall into a mild depression and decide even mild is too difficult to take and who end it all far too soon. Then there are those who allow themselves to fall far under, seemingly to a point of no return, despairing with every laboured breath, who decide enough is enough and who press on to find light in even the most difficult situations. These are the people of true strength. Those who battled their own mind for control. Battled to say "I will NOT go quietly into that dark night", and fight tooth and nail to get back to a place of levity. 

Knowing how much you struggled at any point in your life is also knowing how far you've come. 

It doesn't matter if your battle was one of finance, of circumstance or health - the reason for the struggle is irrelevant, your fortitude and your intent to never return to that struggle - whether you realise that's the decision you made in that moment or not - is the reason you're here, is the reason you're so extraordinary, is the reason that you will succeed - absolutely and without hesitation.

Your struggles do not define you, your battle out of them is what does.