When life is tough it is easy to lose yourself – let the pain wash away your happiness and sense of self-worth. Sometimes it feels as if you cannot control how others act towards you or the hand that life has dealt. And that is true – you can’t.

But bad events and bad people do not shape you or make you who you really are – sometimes they just mask that, for a little while. You are not a product of your traumas or the hurtful things someone said. You are not the ugly things that other people might think of you. You are not the long, lonely nights or the panic-ridden mornings. These things though impactful of your world view and the steps you take, are not the things that make you who you truly are.

You are the sum of all the kind acts you have performed behind closed doors – the things you do for others with no expectation of recognition in return. You are the songs you sing in the bathtub when you’re washing your hair. You are your hobbies, passions and interests – the things you create and share. You are all the things you love and enjoy in this life. And you are the compassion and empathy you willingly give to others.

No-one has the power to take these things away from you, although they might like to think they can try. When life is tough remember who you are and reject the idea that anyone or anything will ever have the power to change that.

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