As an individual who has withstood the test of time and been exposed to every imaginable abuse, I am here to tell you that our past does not define us but our thoughts do. Our memories do not have to be a life sentence. To move beyond the pain know that what happened wasn’t done to us but rather at us. When we stop personalizing the abuse or owning it as ours, we can move along steady and strong. There is nothing we could have possibly done as children to warrant the maltreatment. The behavior or actions of others is their issue not ours. Children are innocent, pure and dependent upon adults. But now that we are emancipated, free or grown, we get to choose what we believe and think. We get to determine if the recorded information is fact or fiction. When adults hurt children they often are only repeating what they learned. To move beyond low-esteem and worth, you simply need to argue with the voices in your head. Take the propagating misinformation and back each thought up with tangible facts. If you cannot find the adequate evidence that proves you are worthless, stupid or selfish, the thought is erroneous. Here’s the even better news about self-imposed thoughts: if you find any facts that make those cognitive processes reliable then create a list of options that can disprove your case. Make the evidence circumstantial by leaving reasonable doubt. For example, I was a functional illiterate who was called stupid so…I learned to read, earned a master’s degree and wrote four books. When I make mistakes (like everyone else) I assure myself that as long as I learn a lesson it’s only a growing pain because when I don’t fail I don’t grow. Most parents do not consciously want to hurt their children and even those who do are in deep pain themselves. Release their hurt and move onto the life you deserve to have. It’s that easy!