Your Pain Does Not Define You

girl with crazy hair, not defined by pain
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You are not bound by the things of this world—by the way you look, the choices you make, the moments you go through.

This life is fleeting, so we cannot be forever tied to these short slivers in time, and especially not to the days that buried us, to the brokenness that temporarily weighed down our hearts.

Pain is a part of being human. Like breathing, like thinking we will face it inevitably, and as much as we try to build ourselves up, keep our chests beating strong and our heads held high, we will crumble from time to time. We will lose our spark. We will wander aimlessly through our days, struggling to find purpose, and passion, and patience.

But the pain that we experience will not last forever. Though it might cause chaos in our hearts, it will not make a permanent home.

The heartbreak, the loneliness, the bitterness, the exhaustion—those things are temporary, even when it feels like they are all we know. One day we will steady our breathing, find our footing and step forward again. One day the heaviness will lift and we’ll look up at the sky with a renewed sense of self. One day we won’t think of what we no longer have first, but be filled and encouraged by all that we possess, all that is within us.

One day that pain will be a mere memory—never a definition.

When we go through trying times, sometimes we wear our pain on our faces, in our bodies, in the way we carry ourselves. We become so surrounded, so caught up in the emptiness that we let it consume us. We forget who we are.

Sometimes we allow our pain to be the first thing people see when they look at us; we become owned by it, instead of our true identity.

But we must remember the truth about pain—it is not who we are. We are not the times we’ve fallen, the failures, the tough days. We are infinitely more.

We are laughter and jokes, embraces and connections, family and friendship and moments of celebration. We are human—imperfect, but still capable of extraordinary things. We are all the small moments of our lives complied together, all the ways we’ve grown, and shaped, and changed ourselves and our world.

We are not just the times we’ve lost our way, not just bodies aimlessly wandering around here on this earth. We are not lost causes, and our value is not determined by the weight of what we’ve gone through.

Who we are as people is not comprised of the negative pieces of our lives, but the positive. By the ways we’ve stood back up after being pushed down, risen after falling. By the way we’ve continued, and never given up.

Pain is a component of our humanness, sometimes even necessary to teach us, to build us, to help us become our true selves. But it is not the determining factor of our worthiness, not the one thing that we carry or label ourselves with.

We will lose our way, lose loved ones, lose our strength and spark from time to time, but we’ll never fully lose ourselves. We may be broken, but never destroyed. We may change, but never become unrecognizable. We may experience hard times, but never embody those moments.

We may face pain, but it will never define us. TC mark

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