Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve talked how we look at ourselves, and watching our words. Today, I want to explore the inside instead of just the outside of beauty.

What else prevents you from liking what you see when you look in the mirror? Are you dragging around mistakes that belong in the past? Or carrying the weight of shame or something that makes you feel unworthy? Or unlovable?

There are times when I look back on my life and I’m embarrassed. Some of the decisions I’ve made and some of the mistakes I’ve made have created a little ball of shame that I carry deep inside. There were times I walked in darkness instead of trusting my own gut, or more important, trusting God. If I go down memory lane to the darkest places, then I start beating up on myself all over again. I let shame overcome me.  And it can stop me in my tracks. The weight of my past can be too much to bear.

That weight of my past is not what I want to carry. Today, if I go down memory lane, I want to remember how blinded I was then, and find a way to keep my eyes open now. I want to see that I’ve come out stronger on the other side.

Here’s the deal. We all make mistakes. We’ve all had shameful times in our lives. It’s what you do today that counts.

There’s something that my small group at church has talked about. It’s this: The rearview mirror is really small and the windshield is really large. That’s just a way of saying, don’t look back. What’s in front of you is bigger, and hopefully, better than it is now.

Don’t misunderstand me. Sometimes there are consequences for our past mistakes. We can still be dealing with those consequences long after we’ve made the mistake. But, by looking ahead, instead of behind you, you can make an impact.

It’s what you do with your life right now, with how you are facing each day that matters, and that makes you beautiful. What can you teach someone else because of what you went through? How can you shine the light of hope, because of what you went through? How can you be beautiful on the inside as much as on the outside because of what you went through?

As you may know, my faith is a big part of who I am. I believe that when we ask for forgiveness, then God wipes the slate clean. A lot of times, we’re the ones hanging on to our failure, our mistake, our shame. How we rise from that mistake shines brighter than anything. We can share the light of forgiveness, and in turn help someone else.

It’s what we do with the lessons we learn that make the difference and can lighten our load.

It’s important to forgive ourselves. To love ourselves. To shed that weight of shame and of past mistakes. Focus on who you are today, right now. And on what you can become, and what you can do.

Quit dragging around any of that weight of the past. Our slate has been wiped clean.

Today’s a new day. And it’s a great day to start again.

It’s time to rise and shine!

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