I've changed. This is what I've been told, and that's okay, because I agree. I have.
I'm stronger, I'm awake, and now I can clearly see who I actually always was.
I've changed, but not in the way you think. I'm still the same person; still the same soul, but now I live authentically, instead of being the person that others want or expect me to be. I was always here. You just didn't see me, and I didn't either.
I've been through my share of pain, heartache and frustration, there's no doubt about that, but I've allowed myself to feel that pain; to let it flow through me so that I could grow.
I've made a conscious choice over the years to use my pain and challenges as learning experiences, rather than bottling things up and allowing them to eat away at my soul.
It's a choice I have made, and I understand that not everyone is able to do that. Often, it seems easier and less uncomfortable to just bury these things, in the hope that they'll be forgotten and heal on their own.
But they don't. Time alone doesn't heal. Blocking the pain out doesn't make it magically disappear. It just prolongs the healing, and causes other areas of your self to become infected in the process.
And herein lies the difference between you and I.
I've felt my way through my journey, using my pain as fertiliser for my soul, which has helped me to grow and flourish. I no longer wear a mask. I have no buried pain. The journey hasn't been easy, but it has been worth it.
You, however, can't even seem to recognise your pain anymore. It was buried long ago and slowly but surely, part of your soul became hidden along with it. You've grown older and life has changed around you, but the inner stuff; the stuff feeds your soul, has remained stagnant.
So, when you say that I have changed-yes, I have. I've allowed my heart to crack open when it hurt the most and I surrendered myself to it all so that I could learn from it. Grow from it. And ultimately, this allowed me to fall back in love with myself. I've changed because I'm now aligned with who I really am.
I am now Me; the me I always was.