Usually when you face a challenge- which can literally be anything- the general advice you get from your support system is that it is for a reason, and that in days, weeks, months, years to come you will look back and realise why you had to go through it (or something along those lines). Always comforting to hear, but difficult to grasp at the time. On retrospect, i truly believe that every experience and encounter better prepares us for our future. All hardships provide a lesson- it may a lesson you learn about a person or people in general, it may be a lesson you learn about yourself, it may be a lesson you learn about a situation so that in the future you know how to either handle it (or something worse that comes along) or avoid it. Overcoming challenges provides us with strength and resilience. If you think about any challenges you faced, you may realise that in some way or another it has actually helped you, and if it hasn't yet then take comfort in the fact it will. With every obstacle there lies a solution, and if you have overcome your obstacle then take pride in the fact you have identified a solution that has better prepared you for something greater.
The past can often be a painful memory for some, particularly if you have faced many hardships. Memories of the past often can rouse emotion. Valuable, personal and unique lessons can be leant by having an awareness of the solutions and triumphs experienced from the past, and reflecting on what worked and what didn't work so that you can go through life developing skills necessary to advance you. It is also important to be aware of what exactly it is that causes you the pain when thinking back to the past, rather than just shutting off the past and pretending like it didn't happen. Instead, by vividly experiencing the effect the memory has on you can lead to you developing neurological pathways that result in you avoiding making the same mistake twice and re-experiencing that pain (the body is designed to avoid pain). Further, by focusing on what causes you pleasure and feeling the happiness (and whatever other emotions) can be extremely advantageous to you and your future as wherever the mind goes the body will follow. Thinking in this pleasure/pain principle is extremely useful in initiating change. With all this said, it is extremely important that you do not dwell in the past: dwelling can lead to feeling low, obsessing over the 'what ifs', and can prevent you from having your eyes open to the opportunities that lie in front of you. You have to learn all and then make the decision to leave. Don't be held by the conditions of your past. It is not where you begin, but where you end. The truth is, everyone has their story. Life comes with its bumps and roundabouts and sharp corners and brick walls, and i believe they all have their purpose, so that when we're back on the straight path the path is smoother and better. We are designed to grow; you cannot face life in a standstill. Every obstacle has a purpose. If God didn't have a purpose for it, He wouldn't have allowed it. Don't become trapped by whatever hardship you faced; you are not defined by single experiences in life, you are the result of many experiences put together. Don't focus on the single ingredient (which alone may not taste so good), but focus on the end product (which will taste amazing). You can stand up a little taller, unhunch your shoulders, and keep your head up high knowing that everything you face will only make you better. You are never given anything you cannot handle.