Every day I hear fascinating stories. Stories of love, joy, happiness, and celebration.  I also hear stories of pain, suffering, grief, loss, tragedy and trauma.

No one is exempt.  No one.

Our lives are filled with much for which we are grateful – particularly for those in our lives that care about us; those who have our backs; those who will tell us the truth we need to hear to lift us up or help us re-align with our best selves.

We have highlights, memories, and souvenirs of precious moments that make us smile. Scrap books and Facebook store and share these moments for us.

But don’t be fooled. There isn’t a person in your life that hasn’t, in some way, been touched by trauma or who hasn’t experienced loss or heart break.  We’re all flawed, and we all have scars.  We just don’t showcase them in scrapbooks or on Facebook.  (At least most of us don’t.)  And sometimes we carry shame for those scars.

Here’s the good news.   You can recover.  You can heal.  You can be set free.  You can find purpose.

You may be damaged, and you can move your life beyond the pain.  You can shed the shame and push through the fear.  You can be free of guilt, remorse, and self-condemnation – if you’re willing to stop hiding the secrets, if you’re willing to do the work, and if you’re willing to explore those secrets in a safe place.

It means you are going to need to reach deep inside yourself and trust your courage; trust that you deserve better, and trust that you can do what you need to do to heal, to resolve the inner conflict(s), and to step out into your life as the person you are mean to be now moving into your future.

If there are ways you’ve been holding yourself back; pain that doesn’t seem to heal; fear that doesn’t subside, anxiety that doesn’t calm, depression that doesn’t lift – stop pretending, stop self-medicating, stop making excuses, and love yourself enough to allow yourself to get the help you need to move forward in your life.

The damage no longer needs to control your life.