“We are the sum total of our experiences. Those experiences – be they positive or negative – make us the person we are, at any given point in our lives. And, like a flowing river, those same experiences, and those yet to come, continue to influence and reshape the person we are, and the person we become. None of us are the same as we were yesterday, nor will be tomorrow.” ― B.J. Neblett
We are all products of our past. Every decision we make, every path we choose, every thought we have, stems from a former experience. The way we deal with every situation we’re presented with is already ingrained in us. Of course, we can choose to change this, but our initial reaction and method of action is always going to be that of what we’ve been taught – by our own experiences – to do.
I’m not afraid to travel or explore new places because my parents took my sisters and I on plenty of adventures when we were younger. I adore sunrises and sunsets because some of my favourite memories include watching them with people I love. The smell of freshly baked bread comforts me because mum would regularly have a loaf on when we walked through the door after school.
I get anxious driving downhill in wet weather because of an accident I had when I first got my license. My heart beats twice as fast when I pass a barking dog inside a timber fence because my first puppy was mauled to death by a dog who busted through his. The idea of being questioned in a courtroom scares the living daylights out of me and every movie or book with a rape scene makes my belly drop and my body freeze.
Our memories make us who we are; whether good or bad, happy or sad. The notion that we are 50% nature 50% nurture might be so, but I truly believe our minds develop in a certain way because of the type and amount of adversity we face throughout our lives.
We will never be exactly the same person we were yesterday, for we are constantly changing, evolving, learning, growing. Every day we will endure new feelings and face new confrontations and every one of them will play a part in shaping the person we are from that point onward.
While we don’t have control over everything that happens to us, we do have control over the way we cope. And it is our responsibility to choose whether or not we let our experiences define us.