Over the weekend I spent some much needed time with my family! So many celebrations, my best friends birthday, my nieces 5th birthday, my parents 33rd anniversary and just celebrating life all around! As I stole a moment to myself watching the sun set over the amazing city of DC… I thought about how much I have grown since 2014 began. It’s incredible to see how the journey you planned for your self never turns out like you expected. I’m sure none of us want to experience pain, or being hurt … But on this journey to freedom, i experienced pain and have been hurt… but the beauty in that is that my past hurts have helped birth a huge growth spurt! I’m not talking about my body changing, I’m speaking on the renewal of my mind. The way approach situations in my life amaze me now. I no longer worry the way I used to. I no longer second guess myself and I am more willing to take chances. My heart had had its heartbreaks… But it didn’t break me. Like all things that are broken, with time there is healing. They say that with this life, it’s going to have its ups and downs. I just choose not to focus on the down parts anymore. I acknowledge it, learn from it and keep pressing forward. There is no bubble that can protect you from being hurt, all you can do is walk through the experience and after your trial is over… Access how you will allow it to impact your life. We all have choices… Either you are going to take your pain and stay in your suffering… Or you can take your pain and allow it to build your endurance. See I look at life as this huge book. You have the beginning that starts with being born, your mother had to suffer pain to bring you here.. But she didn’t let her pain ruin her joy when she heard your first cry. Then you get to the chapters of the book that are all about self discovery… School, peers, first loves… Break ups, failures…all of it was there to teach a lesson and prepares you for the tough days ahead. Then you reach your mature chapters in the book, love, single life,building families, marriages, divorces, careers, stability, loosing loved ones and eventually your own death… All of those moments come with pain… But it becomes your choice on how you handle the pain. You either will let it stunt your growth, or you allow it to let you bloom. So the question is this, what’s your Book about? Is it a tragic story that has no substance for helping you grow? Or is it filled with triumphs after your trials..? Are you truly growing by allowing yourself to experience the pains of life.. Or are you trying desperately to Protect yourself from getting hurt? My “book” may not be finished yet.. But as I approach this new chapter, (year2015)I can honestly say, without my past hurts… The backbone I have now would have never existed. I encourage you to Learn to embrace your mistakes, endure the pain, and learn from these moments. It will truly give you new perspective on who you are what you can handle. Just because it hurt when you fell… Doesn’t mean you can’t get back up. Put a bandaid on it…Heal and keep moving. Your scars tell your story.. So embrace them.