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Be the person who breaks the cycle. If you were judged, choose understanding. If you were rejected, choose acceptance. If you were shamed, choose compassion. Be the person you needed when you were hurting, not the person who hurt you. Vow to be better than what broke you—to heal instead of becoming bitter so you can act from your heart, not your pain.

Forgive yourself for not knowing better at the time. Forgive yourself for giving away your power. Forgive yourself for past behaviors. Forgive yourself for the survival patterns and traits you picked up while enduring trauma. Forgive yourself for being who you needed to be.

Stop comparing where you’re at with where everyone else is. It doesn’t move you farther ahead, improve your situation, or help you find peace. It just feeds your shame, fuels your feelings of inadequacy, and ultimately, it keeps you stuck. The reality is that there is no one correct path in life. Everyone has their own unique journey. A path that’s right for someone else won’t necessarily be a path that’s right for you. And that’s okay. Your journey isn’t right or wrong, or good or bad. It’s just different.

If you can do nothing else, do whatever is in your power to make the people in your life feel completely unashamed of who they are.

We cannot grow when we are in shame, and we can’t use shame to change ourselves or others.

Empathy’s the antidote to shame. The two most powerful words when we’re in struggle: me too.

A moment of self-compassion can change your entire day. A string of such moments can change the course of your life.

He who is afraid to ask is ashamed of learning.

Be proud of who you are and not ashamed of how someone else sees you.

Never be ashamed of a scar. It simply means you were stronger than whatever tried to hurt you.