So you were badly treated when you were a kid and
now that’s overshadowing your life and affecting the present and
future of your existence.

Well, I want you to know that your bad treatment
doesn’t make YOU bad, it makes THEM bad – the people who treated you
badly. Even considering that, though, what are you going to do with
the past experiences you have had? Are they always going to be
something you have to drag around with you through your life, like an
unwanted piece of baggage?

That’s what I thought for many years. My father’s
treatment of me when I was a kid cast a huge shadow over my life and
I wondered whether I would have to carry it for the rest of my life.

However, when I hit 40, my life was transformed when
I realized my experiences could help me to understand and assist
my high school students with their personal problems and self-esteem
issues. I was able to understand their feelings much better than any
other teacher. Now this understanding is extremely valuable, and it
helps my life and helps my students. Writing this article and giving
out advice like this to others are additional ways to help them and
to reach out to people like YOU. So I suppose I should say, “Thanks,
Dad, for beating me up when I was a kid – now I can make the world a
better place.”

If all this seems a little far-fetched to you, well,
it isn’t. This transformation has happened to me, and I am a very
average and ordinary person. It can happen to you, too!

An important consideration in building your dream
life is that it should incorporate many, if not all, the aspects of
your life – both good and bad. Some people try to create a dream life
in an attempt to run away from the past and build a better life for
the future. However, I have to tell you that any realistic plan to
create a truly meaningful dream life that will make you happy must
incorporate the negative things you have experienced, since it is the
healing and transformation of these things in life that brings
happiness and peace. So now in my life, what I thought was worthless
garbage has turned out to be one of the most important things – “That
which the builders thought was worthless has become the capstone”,
as the good book says. People say, “one man’s trash is another
man’s treasure”, but why can’t your trash become your treasure,

So don’t forget your past experiences, good or bad,
in your plans to build the life of your dreams. Instead of running
away from them, start thinking about trying to incorporate them into
your vision. I think you will find that this will bring greater
meaning and fulfillment into your life, and give you the peace and
contentment that you seek.