Last week, I turned a quarter of a century. Now, by all means, this does not mean I am a life hacking genius (even if I would like to think so). I have, however, learned a few things along this short road of life. These are handed down from other people, which have been shaped and molded to fit into my unique being. I like to call them my ‘mantras,’ but really they should be on everyones mental daily checklist. If these are not part of your daily gratitude log that you should me mentally ticking off, please, let them be reminders. I know some days these things are not easy… trust me, I know. Sometimes you feel like you have to drag yourself out of bed, and no amount of coffee is going to make you a decent person for the day. But, I must say, by following these mantras daily, these hard, dragging days are few and far between.
These are not groundbreaking; it is nothing we do not already know. They are just so important that I think reiterating them as an adult is something relevant. They were important when we were young, and they are going to continue to be important as adulthood continues. I challenge you to sit back and reflect with me on these, as it is something all of us can continue to learn from.
Acceptance is Key
‘Happiness can exist only in acceptance’ – George Orwell
The saying, ‘treat others the way you want to be treated’ was something I was told as a young girl. When we said some not-so-nice-things, or we didn’t share our toys, or left someone out on the playground, our parents would be looming over us, wagging their finger, telling us exactly that. Well, I still do this to myself, and I am now an adult. Making sure in the work place, in your personal life, and on a daily basis that you are treating people with respect and acceptance is very important. If you are treating people the way you want to be treated, you are not only accepting them, you are acknowledging that they too deserve the respect that you deserve. Mutual respect and acceptance is so important; everyone is different, they grew up different, went through different trials, etc. We cannot judge them for that; we can only accept it.
I feel like this is pretty relevant in todays day and age, especially with the election that has happened recently. Regardless of the side you are on, mutual respect and acceptance is very necessary for everyone to continue to live in harmony. It can be hard when harsh words fly; we are all guilty of saying things we don’t mean, being boastful and overly prideful. But, at the end of the day, we must turn to accept that they are allowed to have an opinion. And when it gets difficult to do so, or the conversation is not going anywhere, it is okay to say I accept you and what you have to say/what you believe, end it at that and move on. There is no reason that we cannot just accept it, even if we think it is ‘wrong.’
Be Authentic. Be You
‘I think the most important thing in life is self-love, because if you don’t have self-love, and respect for everything about your own body, your own soul, your own capsule, then how can you have an authentic relationship with anyone else?’ – Shailene Woodley
Being yourself is a wonderful, wonderful thing. In a media ran world, it is hard not to pull a little bit from this person, and a little bit from that person. Or stray away from what the magazines show as ‘beautiful.’ Being yourself is something that overcomes all external beauty because once you have accepted yourself for who you are, your inner beauty is going to outwardly be portrayed. Sometimes it is hard because there are so many types of what beauty is supposed to be. But let me tell you, that is wrong. Everything is beautiful, everyone is beautiful, and your true self is what directs that beauty… so let it shine, soul sister.
Sometimes it is hard to find yourself. Remember, that’s okay. It’s not that you have lost yourself, you have just found a new piece of yourself and you are rediscovering where that puzzle piece fits. You just have to trust yourself that you are not going down the wrong path. My dad uses the analogy of walking down a path and then it comes to a fork in the road. But it is not just a ‘this way or that way’ sort of fork in the road. It’s one of those Alice in Wonderland signs where there are about 800 different ways you can go. And you think you are following the right arrow, but you end up lost. So you take another step and there are 300 more ways to go. No way is the right way, and you can never backtrack and go back to see if the one in the middle was right. You just have to keep pushing forward. And through those trials and errors, you will find even more puzzle pieces; some that will fit perfectly, some that are misplaced, and some that need to be replaced completely. And all of that is okay. You find you through that process. You find your authentic, real self. It is not always easy, and you should be proud of the hardships and trials that have made you… you.
Stand Up and Be Present
‘When you feel powerful, you are willing to stand up for your rights, you are willing to stand up for what you believe in, you’re more willing to stand up and be counted.’ – Margaret Cho
Stand up for yourself. Stand up for others. Stand up for the things you believe in. It is easy to let others walk all over you. It is easy to not say anything to the person bullying others (remember adults can be bullies too). It is easy to idly sit by and pretend like things are not happening. You need to wake up. You need to put your foot down. You need to make your voice heard. Most importantly, you need to be present. If you want to see a change, be the change. I know personally I have felt that it was easier to just let things happen the way they were going to happen, or know I didn’t have much of a say. Well… what the
hell was I thinking? Standing up for myself, others, and what I believe in has been a liberating piece of my identity and I couldn’t be more proud of myself. When I see others doing it as well, it is such a good feeling, knowing their confidence is leading them, that they too are present and stronger than ever. There is nothing more satisfying than that.
I know these are things we all know, and most of us follow these mantras daily, in our way. But these specific ones have always stuck with me my entire life. Accepting others for who they are, remaining true to myself, and standing up for myself, others and what I believe in. I am going to continue to fill these bubbles with life lessons and experiences that fit into the realm of each, and so are you. These experience make you; they never break you. Just remember that when you’re feeling defeated, or like nothing is going in your favor. It is never a BAD thing, even when the world is after you. It is always a learning experience that you can fold up, and keep in your pocket.