Their words will be calculated – targeted missiles they will aim at the places they know will be the weakest; the places they know have been wounded before.
This is what they will tell you:
That the person you once were is who you will always be.
That the person you were at your worst is the most you will ever amount to.
That you will never be anything more than the mistakes you once made.
That you are worthless, hopeless, useless.
Don’t listen to them.
Because here’s the thing.
Nobody has the right to judge you.
Nobody has the right to hold you prisoner to your mistakes when they don’t know a damn thing about the choices you had to choose from and how hard you fought just to survive.
Nobody has the right to shame you for your humanity. To deny you the right to be human. To deny you the grace of the human condition that sees us all fuck up at times and learn from that and do better.
Nobody has the right to take away your redemption. To take every damn drop of blood poured for your healing, your growth, your change, your becoming, and make it worth nothing.
We are not held captive to our yesterdays, to the person we once were when we knew no better. We are not bound by our mistakes, to the ways we hurt others when our hearts were hurting so damn much inside our fragile chests. We are not defined by our rock bottom, when nobody knows what it has taken us to claw our way out to become the person we are today.
We are not our past.
We are not our shame.
Nobody has the right to judge the heart they do not see.
Your heart is beautiful; made new with each day you have woken and determined to do better. You are worthy. You are deserving. You are everything they will never be.
Forgiveness, grace, second chances: these are the things we offer other humans when we understand the frailty of our own humanity. When we understand that mercy always triumphs over judgement, and that this is how we offer love.
There will always be those who throw stones. Let them. For their feet will forever be bound by the shore, destined to watch as you, my darling, become the ocean.
Kathy Parker “With permission”
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