However, today....I am stronger than I was yesterday. Today, I am more healthy than I was yesterday. Today, I have experiences behind me that make me stronger and experiences ahead of me that will continue to make me strong. What is different now is that I may hear that voice that tries to bring me down, tries to put me in isolation and keep me in bed and in the house but that voice DOES NOT define me or my life. I am grateful for all my experiences. I am grateful for the memory of the unhappiness and darkness that used to be my life because it makes me stronger and more determined. No, I do not believe I am perfect (very far from it), I do not believe I am better than anyone (I cringe to even write that, Lol), and I KNOW I am not the prettiest crayon in the box. I DO however believe in my strength, my power, my voice and who I am. I believe in the work I have done for myself and the work others allow me to do alongside them. I get down sometimes but the way I behave is much much different and that is HUGE change. I make choices to live...to live for today and tomorrow not to be bound by yesterday. I live to slow down and enjoy and share in laughter and love and life. Those things can try to creep in my life and make their presence known and I will welcome them to reflect on them and use them as measures of how far I have come. We can all do that. I know some of you have similar experiences. Let me challenge you: Do not be a victim of your past. Deal with your past. Honor the things of the past for bringing you to the now and then use it to catapult you forward. If it revisits (like mine tries to do often) look at where you were and where you are now and then envision where you want to be. The beauty of this life is many things but one of my favorites is we can sit stagnant or we can create beauty out of the stagnant mess. Create beauty friends. Even the ugliest and vile have beauty within them.