by: Jessie Funk

This month I would like to talk about forgiveness. I have been struggling a lot lately with forgiving myself for stupid things I’ve said, stupid things I’ve done, and all the millions of mistakes I have made all throughout my life. For some reason, a bunch of those memories have reared their ugly heads and they sting like a mother! Something that helps me a lot when those things happen is to say out loud to myself, “I forgive you Jessie. You’re a good person. Lesson learned. Move forward.”

I say those four sentences to myself out loud over and over and over and over and over again until I feel a little better and a little stronger. There is no point whatsoever to pitching a tent and living in the misery of past mistakes or painful memories. Of course, it’s always OK to cry and it’s OK to scream it’s OK to feel mad and it’s OK to feel down but don’t pitch a tent and live there, because if you stay there for too long, it will poison you and your future. We have to forgive ourselves so that we can continue moving forward and contributing to this world. We need all hands on deck! We need everyone to step up, speak up, and help!

One of the quickest ways to forgive yourself is to give yourself evidence that you are a good person, and the quickest way to do that is to serve other people. Get up, put your shoes on and get to work helping other people! There are thousands of service opportunities all around you. Go to the food bank, go to homeless shelter, tutor younger kids. Do a supplies drive for kids with cancer, visit the hospital and bring some friends and sing some songs to the patients there. It can be as simple as sitting with someone who looks lonely at lunch or smiling at someone who has their head down as they walk through the hall. The point is to get outside yourself and do something for someone else without expecting anything in return.

When you do that, you prove to yourself that you have a good heart and that you are adding something to the world. You are reminded that you are needed and that you are important. Of course, I already know that is true about you, but sometimes when we are stuck in a cycle of shame, feeling bad about ourselves, we can’t see the truth and it doesn’t matter that I already know how important and needed and wonderful you are. YOU have to know that, you have to learn that for yourself! Service is such a quick and easy way to do it.

Please don’t hold yourself back from your greatness just because you’ve made some mistakes or because other people – or life – has hurt you. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, forgive yourself, and move forward. We need your awesomeness!!!

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