Our Green Little Bar of Strength is an enchanting and delicate keepsake. The bracelet reminds us to stay true to ourselves.
Green symbolises truth. It represents the ability to lay ourselves bare, to stand boldly for our lives, our actions, desires, decisions, thoughts and plans.
Truth often requires vulnerability and bravery.
As young people, it is hard to persevere in our unique identities while handling the pressures we encounter in society. The temptation is to hide behind a false mask, to pretend we are not struggling to cope. Charities like Jigsaw –The National Centre for Youth Mental Health –are available, providing valuable resources for when we need help handling life’s pressures and stressful events.
We can always reach out, ask for help, and take important steps to live our truth.
There is so much truth in the well known saying that comparison is a thief of joy.
The effects of constantly comparing oneself to other people around us is that it can distract us from our own growth process. It’s something many people have experienced. While we’re busy anxiously pining over an aspect of someone else’s life, we lose sight of how hard we’ve worked, how good we are at what we do, and how far we’ve come in our personal journey. It benefits our mental health immensely when we can focus on our own growth and improvement, and learn to be okay with the things that haven’t happened for us or that we don’t have in the present moment. A lot of young people today struggle with maintaining a healthy mindset amidst the challenges of achieving personal and economic freedom While the challenges themselves are unavoidable, as they are just part of life’s processes. We can make it easier on ourselves by always taking our own circumstances, as well as other people’s circumstances, into account when we get tempted to compare ourselves to others. We can be aware of the personal or social-economic factors that either put us at an advantage or disadvantage in our pursuit of success. Whichever category we fall into, we can just be gentle with ourselves, tread lightly in the field of expectations and take care of ourselves in practical ways.
KNOWING YOUR OWN TRUTHS
There is nothing like you now, and there shall be nothing like you in the future.
There is an old saying “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure’, although the phrase is dated and usually applies to the subject of how taste can vary between different people. It can also be taken as a commentary on how certain experiences and events in life can be processed and interpreted in contrasting ways by different people. Whatever happens in life, some people benefit and other people could take a loss from the same event. This is because we all have varying perspectives and ideas of what makes a good day or an entire life; its relative to each person’s desires, expectations and philosophies. Instead of striving to fit into a homogeneous society, we can focus on learning about the things that matter to us. All the while avoiding the temptation of comparison, as well as the panic and anxieties that result from it.
LEARN HOW TO PLAN
“Each day is an opportunity to reinvent ourselves” —Ralph Lauren
Authenticity means being okay with being different, and being excited about forging our own way in life. A great note on avoiding comparison and learning to live authentically is knowing how to make plans and prioritise. This is vital because when we have clear ideas of how we want to shape our life, it makes it harder for us to be swayed by external pressure, comparison and trends. When we have a plan we can stand fast and stay steady when life throws challenges and obstacle at us. There are many ways to capture/express our plan for our near or distant future: visual/mood boards, diaries, personal blogs/vlogs, writing bucket lists etc. Or we can simply use a basic planner notebook to reflect on the steps we need to take to improve our personal, professional or academic life. I helps to also add in positive affirmations in the margins or between the lines of all our plans. This method is useful for creating a physical source of guidance and accountability when we are feeling confused, overwhelmed and anxious or when we feel other people’s successes invalidate our efforts.
BE FLEXIBLE & OPEN TO CHANGE
“Be open minded, open to compromise and listen” –Rick Owens
This point may seem in contradiction to the previous paragraph but the truth is that planning also requires making space for the unexpected. Yes that clique of expecting the unexpected is true. Plan for what you want but accept that may confront something undesired along the way because change is a constant fact of life. Our existence is at the mercy of fate and fortune. We should not be too rigid about the plans we make, not necessarily to avoid disappointment, rather to ensure that our rigidity does not hinder the greater potential that lies in being open to change.
Living a life of truth and authenticity requires an immense amount of vulnerability and bravery.
Some days are great, other days not so much. The important thing is to embrace both sides as a passing flux of life. But also to seek help when despair overrides our sense of acceptance. Life is amazing but fundamentally difficult to manage entirely and flawlessly. Perfection shouldn’t be our goal because that is impossible to achieve. Instead we can choose to live openly and to express our simple joys and sorrows with great courage.