I Gave Up Saying Negative Things About Myself For Lent Last Year And It Changed My Entire Perspective

I Gave Up Saying Negative Things About Myself For Lent Last Year And It Changed My Entire Perspective

Before anything else, find yourself, be yourself, and love yourself.
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Lent is a season many Christians practice during the forty days (excluding Sundays) leading up to Easter. This year it starts on February 14th. It is a time of fasting and preparation for the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Different denominations have slightly different ways of practicing the season of Lent, but the main practice is giving something up to bring you closer to God. When you find yourself wanting the thing you gave up, you pray, which brings you and God closer.

Throughout my years of practicing Lent, I have given up many things (chocolate, buying songs on iTunes, cokes, etc.) What I gave up last year though, was quite possibly the most rewarding thing I've ever given up.

Last year, for Lent, I gave up saying bad things about myself.

It is sad, but we are taught to find things wrong with ourselves. Society tells us that we're not good enough, not smart enough, not pretty enough. And when society is telling us these things, we start to believe it. It's not healthy for us, but we compare ourselves to others, and we wish to be someone other than who we are.

You might be thinking, "how can you give up something like this?' Here's how it worked- when I caught myself saying or thinking something negative about me, I wrote down one thing I liked about myself, and I could only write each thing down once throughout the season of Lent. This forced me to keep thinking up new good things since I wouldn't let myself repeat.

I wrote over 60 positive things, and there are only 40 days in Lent, so you can do the math to figure out how negative I was. I'll be honest, it was hard at times. It was difficult to think of multiple things a day that I hadn't already written down. We are taught not to brag, so thinking up these positive ideas was challenging. But, reading them back made it so worth it.

I learned that while I can always find things about myself I want to change, it is so much more rewarding to focus on the things I love about myself.

This is how we should live. We should all live a life that exemplifies everything great about us. Because here is the truth-even if our crush doesn't like our picture on Instagram, even if we have terrible skin, even if we don't get chosen for a job we really wanted, the fact of the matter is that Jesus loves us despite every real and make-believe flaw we have. That's the epitome of what I learned. I learned that despite the things I'd want to change, I'm pretty great. And so are you. And so is everyone.

I don't know if you already have something planned to give up for Lent, if your denomination practices Lent, or if you even consider yourself a Christian.

What I do know, however, is that negative thoughts only bring harm, but positive thoughts can completely change your outlook on yourself. If you need something to give up for Lent or are just tired of thinking negatively, I challenge you to give up hating on yourself from February 14 through Easter Sunday (April 1). You won't be disappointed, and you might even end up loving yourself a little bit more.

Cover Image Credit: @thelilacpress

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God's Letter To The Struggling College Christian

Don't give up on me because I haven't given up on you
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Dear Struggling College Christian,

Life can be tough, especially in college; you're at that age where you're not exactly an adult but also no longer a child.

You're somewhere in between, possessing just enough freedom to do what you want while still being held responsible for the decisions you make about your future. You're always stressed out. You're going to get hurt, you're going to feel like dropping out or changing your mind, and you're even going to want to turn your back on me, your God, but I want to tell you this: your suffering is not in vain.

SEE ALSO: I Am Christian Millennial And I Do Not Hate You

I want you to know that everything you are going through is a lesson. It's all building you into a better person, a better you. The things you've asked of me, the things you've told me you wanted – those are things you have to be prepared for and you still need a bit of tweaking.

The future, though bright, isn't all sunshine and roses.

The path has twists and turns, cracks are in it, fallen logs in your way, and most of the time you're not going to be able to see straight ahead of you. The weather is going to be unpredictable. The hailstorm is going to knock you off your feet and the twisters are going to send you spinning into confusion, exhaustion, and doubt.

But with the strength that I am trying to build up in you, you'll find that you know exactly where to find shelter when the storms break down your door.

You'll find that the lessons you learn from trying times are exactly what you need to fulfill my plans for you. You've read Jeremiah 29:11 and Romans 8:28 hundreds of times, but there is a verse in the Bible that you may have never paid attention to.

Ephesians 2:10. It reads: “We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them."

The most important part of this verse is one simple word: beforehand. So while you're crying and stressing about what job you're going to land after you graduate, if you're going to marry that person you've been with for years, or if you even want to be majoring in what you're currently majoring in, I already have a plan laid out specifically for you. You are my child, my creation and you have a purpose.

However, while knowing these things is great, it is all pointless if you don't do. So here's what I want you to do: do not give up. Have faith in me. You believe in me, so why not believe in me in your darkest moments? That's the reason you became a Christian, right?

Because I'm the one person you know that won't forsake you. You know that I love you, and you know that I'm here for you, so prove it. I know it can be hard when you're pulled in a lot of different directions by your social life, your academic life and your extracurricular activities not to mention your family life and your own personal sanity, but take a few minutes out of your day, every day, to talk to me.

Tell me your fears and your desires. Remember that you can ask me for and about anything. I'm always going to give you an answer, whether it's a yes, no, or not right now. After that, I want you to stop worrying and fight on through the darkness. You are stronger than you think.

My Child, enjoy yourself while you are young: don't stress over the things that you can't see. Don't give in to the depression, the anxiety, or the stress; things that are not of me. Don't let yourself forget about me or believe that I'm not there when I am and know that my plan is set in place for you.

All you have to do is walk in it. Trust that this is all for your good. But most importantly, remember that I love you unconditionally–at your worst and your best. Life can be tough, but you are tougher simply because you are mine.

I've got you,

God

Cover Image Credit: Google Images

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25 Life-Saving Quotes Every 'Grey's Anatomy' Addict Self Diagnoses On A Daily Basis

"It's a beautiful day to save lives."

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Now on season 15, 'Grey's Anatomy' has left us with many memories, some good and some heartbreaking. But one this that's always stuck is the quotes from the show.

1. "It's good to be scared. It means you still have something to lose." - Richard Webber

2. "Not everybody has to be happy all the time. That's not mental health. That's crap." - Meredith Grey

mental health

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3. "If you want crappy things to stop happening to you, stop accepting crap and demand something more." - Cristina Yang

4. "You're letting her think you're emotionally available. You're letting her think she has a chance. And there is nothing worse in the world than thinking you have a chance when you really don't." - Meredith Grey

5. "I want heat. I want romance. I want to feel like a freaking lady." - Meredith Grey

Freaking lady

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6. "Rule number one: Don't bother sucking up. I already hate you." - Miranda Bailey

7. "Pretty good is not good enough. I want to be great." - Cristina Yang

8. "Okay, here it is, your choice...it's simple, her or me, and I'm sure she is really great. But Derek, I love you, in a really, really big 'pretend to like your taste in music, let you eat the last piece of cheesecake, hold a radio over my head outside your window', unfortunate way that makes me hate you, love you. So pick me, choose me, love me." - Meredith Grey

Pick me

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9. "You can have the worst crap in the world happen to you and you can get over it. All you gotta do is survive." - Alex Karev

10. "I am woman. Here me roar." - Miranda Bailey

11. "You didn't love her! You just didn't want to be alone. Or maybe, maybe she was good for you ego. Or, or maybe she made you feel better about your miserable life, but you didn't love her, because you don't destroy the person you love!" - Callie Torres

Love her

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12. "I am not an ugly duckling. I'm a swan." - April Kepner

13. "You were like coming up for fresh air. It's like I was drowning and you save me. That's all I know." - Derek Shepherd

14. "Let's play a game of whose like sucks the most. I'll win. I always win." - Meredith Grey

Greys Anatomy GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY Giphy

15. "There's a land called passive agressiva, and you're their queen." - Derek Shepherd

16. "Bad things happen, but you have to move past it. Leave it behind. The sooner, the better. Or it'll eat away at you and stop you from moving forward." - MIranda Bailey

17. "Promise that you'll love me, even when you hate me." - Meredith Grey  

18. "Oh, screw beautiful, I'm brilliant! If you want to appease me, compliment my brain." - Cristina Yang

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19. "Walk tall. All you can do is be brave enough to get out there. You fought. You loved. You lost. Walk tall." - Mark Sloan

20. "Knowing is better than wondering. Waking is better than sleeping, and even the biggest failure, even the worst, beats the hell out of never trying." - Meredith Grey

21. "It's a beautiful day to save lives." - Derek Shepherd

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22. "It's not hard. It's painful but it's not hard. You know what to do already. If you didn't, you wouldn't be in this much pain." - Miranda Bailey

23. "Doesn’t matter how tough we are, trauma always leaves a scar. It follows us home, it changes our lives, trauma messes everybody up, but maybe that’s the point. All the pain and the fear and the crap. Maybe going through all of that is what keeps us moving forward. It’s what pushes us. Maybe we have to get a little messed up, before we can step up." - Alex Karev

24. "I want to marry you. I want to have kids with you. I want to build us a house. I want to settle down and grow old with you. I want to die when I'm 110 years old in your arms. I don't want 48 uninterrupted hours. I want a lifetime." - Derek Shepherd

25. "Don't let what he wants eclipse what you need. He's very dreamy, but he's not the sun. You are." - Cristina Yang

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