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The Power of Apology

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The emails that I have received since this blog went live a few weeks ago has been astounding! Schools have reached out wanting us to come and speak next year, people sharing their own personal stories of being bullied -- it almost seems as though it's the first time they've gotten their story out. It's amazing how we keep it inside for so many years. I have some best friends, people that have been my friends for 15 years, who have said to me that they just never realized the extent to what I had gone through. I wonder why we keep it in? Why are we embarrassed to talk about it? I guess it's just not something you proudly share -- I've had boyfriends that I never really talked about it with. But why? Why should we hide who we are? I still have to make a conscious effort to make strict eye contact with someone when I'm telling them my story. It's scary. But the scary things are the things we MUST do to grow!

Over the past few years, something that I've heard over and over is when you are on the right path and doing what you are meant to be doing, the Universe will help you.

And right now I feel like I am talking to the Universe and it's literally talking back to me!!

When I was home in MA for Thanksgiving, I was taking a walk and looking up at the sky twinkling with lights and made a wish upon a star that "all of the right and best people will come together for The Farley Project, so we can help the maximum amount of people." Literally one hour later I had an email from a friend's boyfriend wanting to help -- he's a former BULLY and wants to share his story. Well, there's a beautiful twist! He wrote an incredible outline of how he would love to come and speak with us at the schools -- what drove him to bully others and how it never made him feel better, always worse -- but he still did it. I just love the idea of this and cannot wait to talk to him further and see how he can help us.

After the first blog post went live, an amazing corporate lawyer offered to register our 501c3 status pro-bono. A graphic artist reached out with her own bullying story and offered to create our logo. It is slowly becoming habit for me to look up at the sky and say, "Okay, okay, you really HEARD me. Thank you!"

The one thing that really impacted me the most however, are the APOLOGIES I've been getting. I got an email from one of the former mean girls from seventh grade apologizing for her actions 20 years ago. Twenty years later and I can still hear her saying "Here comes Miss Ugly walking down the hall!" Her email made me cry. In a good way. People often say that when women cry they are "being overly emotional." I heard something recently that I like much better -- it's that when you cry, the walls around your heart are breaking and softening. I believe this, and have been proudly shedding tears like crazy for the past couple of years.

The power of apology is an incredible thing. It really meant a lot for me to get that email, I wholeheartedly believe that when kids are being nasty, they don't realize the extent to which they are going to hurt someone. I wonder at what point do people realize they've done something wrong, and why is it SO HARD for us to apologize? It's like we get so caught up in our egos and our need to be right. I want to get the kids to apologize to each other, I want to get them to stop being nasty, I want them to stop making their peers feel that the only way to cope is to take their own life. I'm sure most of you saw the Jonah video on Facebook -- it broke my heart, and I know that there are Jonahs in every school across the country. It really has to STOP.

Anything I can do in my power to help this epidemic, I plan on doing.

I cannot thank you all enough for the support, just knowing that I'm touching people by writing this blog and sharing the experience brings me an incredible feeling of joy!

With so much love and gratitude,
Elissa