He spent decades of his life in prison on false charges. When he got out of prison he was kind, forgave and ending up leading his country through the abolishment of apartheid. Nelson Mandela said these words and they made me think:
I am not sure if I would have been able to forgive then lead the very people who made me spend all those years in prison. Mandela found himself altered by his incarcerated years, and altered for the better. The world is a better place because of it, because of his kindness and focus on changing things for his country.
When awful things happen to us we have a choice of how we want them to impact our lives. We have the option to become bitter, angry, militant, or even vengeful. Or we can choose to alter ourselves and our perspective to utilize this awful thing to make us better, wiser, stronger, someone who can make sure that thing does happen to anyone else. How we react is all about how we choose to live moving forward.
So how do you choose to look back on the fact that you are different than you once were, different from the place where you were before? Is that a sad moment, a relieving moment, or something in between? Good news is you have time to process all that AND know that you will change even more from where you are today. Life is forgiving in that way, it gives us time to deal with our horrors or missteps to become a better version of ourselves.
I hope today you take time to reflect on this altered version of yourself and feel proud. You’ve come a long way baby!