I thought I wasn’t good enough. I thought that my mistakes disqualified me from being who I am supposed to be. I thought that somehow I messed up too much in my past, so I could not possibly be meant to be any more than what I was at the moment. Somewhere along the way, I began to believe the lies that I told myself. I allowed my mistakes to lead me, and I decided to live a life of false humility. Instead of being confident in my purpose, my past threatened to keep me locked up. I believed that because I messed up, I did not deserve to encourage others. I thought that I was misleading everyone by not telling everything I had done, and I thought that I could not lead unless I disclosed my past. I walked around hoping that no one would be able to see me, not literally, but figuratively. I hoped that they would not be able to see my dirty, dark, and sordid past. Trying to avoid being seen, I began to lose a part of me that I seriously needed to maintain. I have done many things that I later regretted doing, but those are things I have come to realize I cannot change. I can, however, move past what has been to what will be. We all make mistakes. We do things that, in hindsight, we wish we could have done differently. It is easy to pile more guilt and shame onto what we have done. We often think that we have to punish ourselves for what we have done. Granted, we may have to deal with the consequences of our actions. but we do not have to stay bound. Just because you once were a drug addict, a liar, a thief, an adulterer, promiscuous, or anything else, does not mean that you cannot be better than that. Once THAT does not mean you ALWAYS are. Move past your own guilt and shame. Move past the condemnation that you heaped on your own head. Free yourself from the fear that people will find you out. Maybe they will, but you are different now. What you have gone through can actually help someone else not to get in the same trouble, and your story can free someone who is dealing with the same thing. Your past happened, but the great thing is that your past is not the present. Who you were in that moment is no longer the same, unless you have consciously chosen not to change. You are not disqualified from your purpose because of what you have done. In reality, you are an even greater you if you acknowledge your mistakes, then you choose to progress past that. Be better.