“Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. … glorify your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16
My Aunt sent me this verse right before I left for my study abroad trip in Melbourne, Australia.
It has stuck with me in a way that has now crafted the way I intend to live.
We all go through a time in life where we want to please the others around us. Whether that is going out to the party before a big exam, skipping out on going to the gym because your friends are going to the mall, or being the child who always says “yes” to the parents in fear of being reprimanded if “no” comes out first.
Where are we in those pictures? Absentmindedly walking to the party knowing we should be at our desk preparing for the test, worrying about all the money we are spending when we know the gym would put our anxiety to rest, and being stuck in our shells feeling like we do not have a voice in front of our loved ones.
This is exactly what I was experiencing a year ago today. I was stuck in the monotony that was freshmen year of college. I was not engaging in anything that was for “Madison”, but rather for those I had made a community with. I fell into a trap of not knowing what I was doing with my life, why I was pursuing the major I was, and why I did not feel like anyone was truly on my team.
That is when I decided to make a serious change in my life (sounds cliche, but hear me out. Your girl made a CHANGE)
In that time I became a Christian, I broke free from the friend group that did not have my best interests at heart, I sought out therapy, I found the love of my life, I began journaling, and I started working out on a more regular basis.
(Reading this over I am thinking: GO YOU, MADISON!!!!)
Yes, it was a lot. Yes, it was not easy going from constant socialization to solely my own thoughts and emotions. Yes, it was intimidating facing all of the turmoil that was circling in my head for the duration of the months prior.
But I did it.
Taking this huge step made me into the mental health advocate, Jesus-loving, traveling freak that I am today. All because I decided to choose myself over the toxicity that made its way into my life 1 year ago.
Do you see where I am getting at?
Live for YOU!
Makes those hard decisions, say NO when your heart is not in it, do not be afraid to have your voice heard in the room.
At the end of the day WE have to live with the outcomes of our decisions. Bad or good. WE have to sit in the failed exam grade, the feeling of laziness, and the discouragement of shying away from being assertive.
Listen to your heart, it is always speaking to you.
There is a community of people in this world who can help you get to where you want to be.
YOU just have to make THE FIRST STEP
Take it from the girl who was in her dorm room 1 year ago surrounded by a life she did not want for herself who now made her dream of studying abroad a reality.
YOU can do ANYTHING with your life.
YOU just have to start.
Live for YOU! was created to encourage individuals, like YOU, to live for themselves each and everyday. Take those mental health days, say “no” if you do not want to go out, and most importantly, Live for YOU!