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If you would like to, you can listen to this musical selection before, during, or after you read the sermon: http://bit.ly/1hROonW

Real Love

Think of a person you know very well and love with your whole heart.  Imagine their smile, the way they laugh, and how you feel when you know they're hurting. 
Now, imagine this person comes to you with a problem: they made a mistake or are feeling inadequate for one reason or another. They pour out their soul to you and confide in you their deepest fears through tears. You can feel their broken heart. 
How would you react to this?
I would imagine that if someone we love and know came to us for that sort of help, we would listen without judgement, comforting and consoling as much as we could. We would remind them of positive things and offer our support in whatever capacity we could. 
What if, instead, we replied with things like, "You're right. You are worthless and undeserving of love. You're stupid and can't do anything right. You don't deserve forgiveness from those you wrong or from yourself. You'll never be good enough or measure up. You should just give up."
We would not only lose a friend, we would destroy something within that person and they would likely never trust us again. They would be more hurt, more lost, and more confused. We would never do something like that to someone we cherish and want in our lives.
So why do we do this to ourselves?
Most people would never choose to be around someone if they said those things to us and yet... we do it to ourselves too often. It's no wonder people become so overwhelmed, depressed and anxious. 
As Jedi we are taught:
Where there is hatred, I shall bring love
Where there is injury, pardon
Where there is doubt, faith
Where there is despair, hope
Where there is darkness, light
And where there is sadness, joy
I would like you to reread those words thinking of yourself and your own life. We have all heard that in order to love another we must first love ourselves. Bring love, pardon, faith, hope, light, and joy - especially to yourself. 
"Jedi believe that love and compassion are central to their lives. We must love and care for each other as we must love and care for ourselves; by doing this we envelop all life in the positivity of our actions and thoughts. We are providers and beacons of hope.". (1)
Next time you make a mistake, remember that you are a Jedi and that, "We try to view things from another’s perspective making us sensitive listeners."(2)
View things from the perspective of someone who loves you and speak to yourself the way you would speak to another in a time of need. Listen to yourself the way you would listen to that person and feel the love you already have within yourself. 
May the Force be with you all. 
(1) teaching 12 of the 16 Teachings
(2) from teaching 13 of the 16 Teachings