You should go and love yourself.

You decide who gets a voice in your life. Choose friends — and in some cases, family — who see the best in you.

By enrolling at Hillsong College this past year, I put myself in one of the most encouraging environments with some of the best people I’ve ever met. I’ve made lifelong connections and am so thankful for friendships that have taught me heaps, brought so much joy to life, and changed me forever.

But for every hundred positive relationships, I would let in one negative voice. It would cut me down and devalue me to the point that I no longer cared for or about myself. I believed what they said about me was true, that I was dumb, ugly, untalented, unwanted.

Then something (Jesus?) flipped a switch inside me and I decided to cut off every toxic habit in my life. I began to SAY NO to unhealthy relationships, and to value my (real) friends more. I started eating healthier, taking better care of my body. I cleaned my room and kept it that way. I read my Bible, and enjoyed it! I went to bed earlier and woke up easily. I actually did my dishes. I began to be productive, doing the things I loved. Overnight, I saw myself living the life I had always wanted to but never could, as long as I felt like my life was worthless.

The way I tell it, this could be any number of months ago. But writing that is not honest and vulnerable is powerless, so I’ll confess, it’s really only been about a week. Yet I’m confident enough in my new “life model.” I have [tasted and] seen too much to backslide. Life has its phases, but change is for good.

Tips (aka non-secrets) to success: Get around positive, empowering people, remind yourself what you forgot you love about yourself, take yourself out for a date if you need to! And stop worrying about others and get GOD’s opinion.

Step One to discovering that every life is precious is recognizing that yours is too.

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