You may know people who say they have a good life, as do I, as I am one of those people who says so.
Which seems strange to some people, as I have had a complicated start of my life, which included abuse, neglect, war, and institutionalized care.
Still, things have become brighter, and today I can only say I am happy.
My past is just my past.
The thing about a good life is that it doesn't mean you have a flawless life. In fact, nobody has a flawless life.
Take for example a person like the 14th Dalai Lama, which is the current Dalai Lama, an obvious example of a person who comes across as happy and someone who enjoys life, and yet, those who know their facts know that in 1959 he fled to India while fearing his life, a clear negative experience in life.
Like he most certainly has his memories of that time, I do have my memories of when I was younger (I am still a child after all...).
However, it is a choice whether you let your past experiences be a part of your life, or you let them be your life.
After all, what happened to you, me, or anyone for that matter, doesn't have to continue, especially if you are no longer in the situation you were previously in.
Take for example my war experiences, in which case I was one of the innocents, I was one of the people living in one of the many warzones on our world.
It's not something I like to talk about, and I generally don't do so, I just do so with my counsellor. Still, it shouldn't have been hard for people to put the pieces together by the information I have shared throughout my social media profiles. After all, with just the combination that I grew up in institutionalized care and that I went to school #65 in Donetsk, you would have some crucial information, especially if you are smart enough to use a map and overlay the locations I could have lived at(I value my privacy), the location where I went to school, and the locations of reported artillery strikes until early 2015. It's not pretty what you will notice, let's keep it at that.
Still, without me even having to go into that too much, I can be really simple about it all.
As when it comes to it, I could have blamed and hated every soldier and veteran for what has happened, yet, I do not. In fact, I do the exact opposite, I respect soldiers and veterans to the extremes. The reason is simple, because most soldiers and veterans come out of war situations as I did, scarred and broken. It's in parts why I connected quite easily with my counsellor, as he used to be at that other side, he is a veteran, a veteran who overcame his PTSD and now is helping me to do the same.
Probably that last part is confusing, as I didn't say it as if it were in the past, but like it's still happening, which is not a mistake. I am still struggling with my memories, as they are not gone, and they never will be gone. However, like I said before, it is a choice what you let it be in your life, and in my case it's an influence.
And yet, many people fail at that last part, just letting your past be an influence, and they become the victims, instead of the survivors they are. Most often the reason is the public opinion...
Which is what bothers me quite a bit, as what does the public opinion matter to begin with?
To take myself as an example, I know people judge me for the fact that:
- I am Jewish.
- I am active at children's rights as a minor.
- I am Ukrainian.
- I am connected to Russia.
- I have used drugs during the time I ran away from the children's home.
- I have lived a great part of my life in institutionalized care.
and quite probably a long list afterwards.
Still, even though they are all facts, they are also just part of the facts.
After all, I could make it complete by doing the following:
- I am Jewish, even though most of my (adoptive) family members are adherent to Christianity and the Islam.
(My biological family is almost completely Jewish, though.)
- I am active at children's rights as a minor, as the bad experiences of my own childhood are fresh in my mind and cause me to want to make certain that others of my age and younger don't have to go through the same.
- I am Ukrainian, but I have moved around quite a lot, also towards other countries, because of that I don't truly feel Ukrainian, I just feel like a citizen of the world, as well as European.
- I am connected to Russia, but not to the Russian government, I am connected to those who are active in support of others, as they're also part of Russia...
- I have used drugs before, I was stupid, I was young, I was coerced, it was over 5 years ago and I am fully clean now, I don't even use any form of regular medication.
- I have lived in institutionalized care, it has made me unable to make opinions of others without getting to know them first, as I was not accepted when I was young just for the location I lived at, and I was, and am, aware of how people think of me...
The thing about public opinion is that the general society almost never has all the facts, they judge and condemn on the little information that has been given.
The importance is what you think of yourself, whether you affirm yourself or deny yourself, whether you take importance in self-care.
Which is also the one thing a good life is about.
As it doesn't matter how flawed your life has been, and even might be, if you are grateful for what you have, even if that is really little, you will have a good life.
It's as simple as that.