Confined No More

Confined No More

Escaping from the Confines of Society
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"You'll be damned if you do, you'll be damned if you don't."

If these words so accurately capture our society today, then why do we bother to please everyone, all of their opinions.

Over the past few months, I've learned an important lesson, one that will help me through life: Do what makes you happy and don't give a damn about what anyone else thinks. Make sure that you're doing things that make you happy, not what makes others happy. It sounds like the easiest think to do, doesn't it? In a society where we are taught to please everyone and conform, this is a daunting task.

After realizing the importance of this lesson, I decided to try it, give it a test drive if you will. What have I learned? I'm a really awesome woman who can speak her mind and stand up for herself. I learned that I will never conform and give myself up for someone else ever again. Unspoken rules that society tells you to follow aren't real. I learned that anyone and everyone should try this lesson out.

I am who I am and don't have any regrets. Everyone is their own person. I'm happier and content. If the world was full of people who lived this way, doing what makes them happy (within reason), accepting and joy-giving would become second nature to us. Maybe the human species could see the beauty that surrounds us at all times.

So...

"You'll be damned if you do, you'll be damned if you don't."

Cover Image Credit: Loren Jones

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65 Truths College Students Need to Hear Right Now

Truth every college student needs to hear.
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1. The best memories are ones you actually can remember.

2. God isn’t going to ask you if you were in a top-tier sorority or fraternity at the gates.

3. You failed a test, not your life.

4. Numbers don’t define you.

5. That includes the number you see that is your grade.

6. Also, how much you weigh.

7. As well as if you are a “7/10” on a so-called “hot scale.”

8. Or if you can bench press 200 lbs. (@ all the guys at the gym, please chill.)

SEE ALSO: 7 Reminders Every College Student Needs To Hear Before The Semester Ends

9. Innocence is nothing to be ashamed of.

10. Neither are mistakes.

11. But learn from your mistakes. Mistakes can be lessons, which can be the biggest blessing.

12. Your metabolism isn’t what it used to be and that is okay.

13. You may not always understand what God is doing, but I promise He has a plan.

14. Every person you meet is battling their own struggles.

15. Life isn’t always great moments.

16. But you have to walk through the forest to get to the mountain top.

17. Your heart isn’t damaged. It is temporarily broken but it will be fixed.

18. However, the only one who can fix a broken heart is the one who created it.

19. So a cute boy or hot girl can’t put the pieces back together.

20. Neither can ice cream.

21. But ice cream can totally help.

22. Stop texting your ex. He/She is your ex for a reason.

23. Loving Jesus means loving people.

24. Loving Jesus also means loving the image of Him in the mirror you see.

25. Stop hiding your emotions. Stop crying in the bathroom or behind a locked door. You have people in your life who care about you.

26. Suicide is never the answer.

27. Breathe in, breathe out.

28. Do you feel your heart pump? Do you feel the air exiting your body? That is a sign you are here for a purpose. Your life is no mistake.

29. Just because you doubt, doesn’t mean you don’t believe in Jesus.

30. However, when walking on the water scares you, look to Jesus and keep your eyes on Him.

31. If you have the opportunity to go to school go. There are young girls around the world who would do anything to sit at the desk you are complaining about.

32. Don’t pick a career based on money.

33. However, I promise you can use any passion or gift to serve a purpose bigger than yourself if you allow yourself to give it to the One who gave it to you.

34. You don’t need pretty prayers to please God.

35. Talk to Him like you are talking to a friend.

36. Look for the good in everyone.

37. That includes the mean girl who no one likes. Chances are she is mean for a reason. Someone was once mean to her. Kill her with kindness.

38. Pray to have the Lord’s eyes. See people with love.

39. Try to have the Lord’s hands, always be reaching out to others.

40. Each morning, pray to have the Lord’s feet and go where He calls you.

41. It is a bad day, not a bad life.

SEE ALSO: What It's Like To Be A College Student In April

42. You don’t need a six-pack to find a man who loves you.

43. You need a spouse who will be able to look at you when you are 80, and wrinkly and maybe a little chunky, and you need him to love you then. If he loves you for your body and your hair, I promise he doesn’t actually love you. Looks fade, but love is eternal. Find someone who loves you like Jesus.

44. Do some squats.

45. But squat so you feel good about yourself, not to attract the opposite sex.

46. You are never too old to find a new hobby.

47. You were beautiful before someone told you.

48. If you don’t know if you are in relationship or not, leave. You deserve clarity, not insecurity.

49. You deserve friendships that are mutual.

50. The best Friday nights are spent with a puppy and food. It is okay to not always be social.

51. Stop worrying about whether your crush will text you back.

52. Stop over analyzing everything in general.

53. Pray for your future spouse.

54. However, also pray for your future bridesmaids/groomsmen. Some of the most influential people you may have in your life you may not have even met yet.

55. Storms bring strength.

56. And storms bring rainbows if you are patient and observant.

57. Stop Pinteresting your dream life and start living it.

58. The Bible is actually extremely relatable. Open it up. Read it.

59. Romans 8:28 “and we know God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” God is on your team. He wants you to have moments of celebration. He has a purpose for you greater than your bad day.

60. Never forget what Jesus did for you on that cross. When he died for you, it was painful and brutal. It was ugly. It was love. Don’t let that truth ever become numb to you no matter how many times you have heard the story.

61. There is nothing wrong with carbs.

62. Study. And don’t wait for the night before.

63. Find someone who you can look up to.

64. Also, never forget that there is always someone looking up to you. Act like someone you would want your future children to be. Act in a way that reflects wisdom.

65. Smile more, you are loved by the one who hung the stars and painted the sea. He created puppies and carbs–yet still loves you more. That is something to celebrate.

College is tough and life is hard. You are going to have moments where all you want to do is celebrate life with your best friends, but you will also have moments where you just want to lock the door, ignore everyone, and have a good cry. Never forget that your worth comes from something greater than your Biology grade, and from Someone greater that the one who broke your heart.

You aren’t too cool for Christ in college. Christ is a necessity for you in your life. He can hold your hand during your heartbreaks and failures and celebrate with you when you get the text back or a passing grade in foreign language. He loves for you and cares for you more than your sorority or fraternity ever will.

So buy your books, do your homework, but never forget when you are walking to you 8:00 a.m. you regretfully signed up for, to look up. Look at the clouds and the sky and thank your creator that in a big big world with many beautiful things, He still loves our messy hearts even more. So this one is for the boys for the King. This life is for the One who laid down His life.

I promise college is more fun when you dance with your Savior. Follow His lead and let him take you on a journey where you can find your purpose. You may not know where you are going, but you do know who you are following.

So never forget that although classes may be hard, and your metabolism may be slowing down–God is still good. He turns our ashes into beauty and our trials into our testimony. Do life with your creator and I promise you that you will have more than you need.

Romans 8:28 “And we know God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”

Check out my website for more articles on self-worth <3

Twitter: gracev96

Instagram: lemmebeyourvalentine

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I’ve Learned To Love The Girl I Used To Be Because It’s Made Me Who I Am

To the friend who feels heavy in the midst of mourning her past.

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"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come."

2 Corinthians 5:17

Dedicated to the friend who feels heavy in the midst of mourning her past.

Silence is deafening.

It's both quiet and loud when the past is present.

Today, the sun may shine its yellow warmth but all I feel is the loneliness of grey and blue.

It's my first time back here since I buried her and the first time I've allowed myself to feel the weight of remembering her. Remembering the girl I used to be.

It is here at her grave that I feel most alone.

No one else is gravely mourning like I am. I have mourned not just the person she was but also the potential she had to be then.

No one else is solemnly rejoicing that she is no longer with us. Perhaps because no one I know now knew her. The ones that did, I've pushed away far enough so that I never have to dig up the past.

I haven't been back since the burial because I've only allowed myself to remember her when it's convenient. When it serves a purpose for other people, never for me though. Otherwise, I've erased all memory of her so that no one would be hurt by her again, especially not me.

She hurt me the most and I don't like remembering the damage. I don't like seeing my shipwrecked wreckage.

Yet, I'm here again hating the power she still holds on me long after I declared her dead.

The power of making me inferior in any and all relationships. Making me believe that if the people who love me now saw me in my wreckage then, they wouldn't want me anymore.

She has the power to make me fear a resurrection. Because if it is possible to bring the dead to life, maybe it's possible that six feet under, there's an empty casket and nothing ever changed. It's terrifying to think that I never really buried her, that I still am her.

But when I look beyond the tombstone, I see the sun and a promised tomorrow on the horizon.

One day, I'll come back and won't feel cold or lonely.

The warm embrace of yellow will surround me for I will have learned to love the girl I used to be not because of who she was but because of who I am.

She will no longer have the power to haunt me like the ghost we hear in horror stories and I will be free from the walking grave I carry around.

The past won't be so loud as to interrupt the present and talk over the future. I will be able to remember it as a silent movie of all my mistakes and be able to learn from them. Most of all, I will have ears to hear the now as it is, not as it was.

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