I believe that our pasts shape us. We all have experiences we've gone through, hardships, pain we've endured, relationships we've lost, difficulties we've encountered. And they all work together to shape our characters, to make us who we are. Those aren't the only things that shape us, but they make the list.
But. YOU are more than your past.
No more of this "I can't do this because that happened to me" stuff. We are not victims. We are conquerors! I want to hear more of "I can do this even though that happened to me!"
I came across this great quote from Ann Landers the other day:
"Expect trouble as an inevitable part of life, and when it comes, hold your head high. Look it squarely in the eye, and say, 'I will be bigger than you. You cannot defeat me.'"
We are bigger than what's befallen us. We can sit and we can fester and we can go on and on with the "oh poor me"s. But if we do, that bitterness and that constant victim attitude will change us into bitter pitiful people.
You can't always choose what happens to you. But you can choose how you respond to it.