Each Time, I Shed a Little More

Since conception, we are shaped by our experiences.  For most of us, our mother was told to be cautious of everything she did, from what she stressed about to what she allowed to enter into her body.  It was all for the purpose of protection of someone so precious.

Growing up, I sensed in my young mind that my parents wished they could keep me in a bubble so that I wouldn’t have to experience the pain and sadness of this world. Although I certainly don’t blame them for their method of protection, we all learn at some point that this concept is just not realistic. Though they tried their hardest, the identity-snatchers still crept in. Confidence-killers pushed through the back door. I didn’t even see them coming, and neither did they.

As an adult, I find myself reaching back to my past (as far back as my faint snapshots at three years old) to discover more truths about who I am and why I do what I do.  It’s no wonder my relationship turned abusive when that’s what I witnessed as a child.  It’s no wonder that I inherited an addiction. And it’s no wonder that I didn’t love myself – I barely liked myself – because that’s what my mother unknowingly modeled.

I don’t know if you are aware of this, but I’m here to let you know something: Our experiences are supposed to break us down.  Trauma? That’s meant to destroy our very soul and and the souls of everyone who come after us. Because of that, this life can feel like the survival of the fittest, and we’re already at a disadvantage.

There are those who do heal from their experiences, but even then, they don’t always heal properly.  It’s not until years later that you realize your soul (I’m talking thoughts, feelings, and emotions here) has recovered abnormally. You’re NEVER quite the same. Yes, that particular experience may not bother you like it did some time ago, but you still feel the shot of pain in the most inconvenient times, like the time you tried to love another man or that time you got angrier than you should have about a “sensitive” topic. It’s enough to make you want to bow out of the race.

Hear me when I say this: Just as you are forced to accept the “bad” of those experiences, you also have the opportunity to accept the good that comes as well.  Yes, you’re never quite the same, and much of that is because you draw a little closer to God each time. When you let Him in, He  promises to heal you in the deepest parts of your soul – the parts that no one or nothing else can reach. He restores you back to a better YOU  and sheds away everything that doesn’t fit.

To the onlooker, everything about my life story probably says that I’m broken down. But with each experience, I shed a little more of those lies to reveal my tough, resilient skin. That, dear loves, is when we appear the most beautiful, because we are.

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Elana Cole is a writer, educator, and professional coach who is passionate about helping others in their personal journeys towards a more beautiful life. She is the author of "The Midnight Experience" and creator of Empowered Narrative, a blog about transforming the way you live and love.

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