In my letter to Santa this year I asked for this Melissa Odabash Lotus Charm Round Bead Bracelet in Jade Green (£45 from John Lewis) and my lovely husband treated me!
I adore this bracelet for a whole host of reasons… For one, I’m not a big jewellery wearer and favour unusual items over bling. Another reason I love it is because it’s delicate and elasticated – perfect for my teensy tiny wrists. But my main reason for loving it? It’s symbolism.
I’m not at all religious. That’s not to say I don’t respect people who are, it’s just not for me. That said, I do have a strong interest in Buddhism and it’s teachings. The Lotus flower is a strong symbol in both Buddhist and Hindu religions. This blog post can tell you about the significance of its symbolism much more succinctly than I can.
For me the Lotus flower signifies a thing of beauty which rises from less salubrious surroundings. It starts in mud and then has to fight its way through murky waters – it doesn’t have an easy or glamorous journey – but then it comes to the surface as a pristine, beautiful flower. Yes, that could signify enlightenment, but for me it signifies life.
As the new year starts we have a preoccupation with saying ‘let’s hope this year is better than last year’. This has two fatal flaws. For one – you get out what you put in – if you want it to be a better year, you have to make it a better year. Secondly, this is suggesting that we can have a year where ‘nothing bad happens to us’. Nice as this sounds, it just ain’t realistic. Whether you take the Buddhist theory that life is about ‘eternal suffering’, or the more pragmatic approach of ‘s*it happens’, I think it’s important to keep a certain level of perspective. Bad things are going to happen – that’s life – it’s how you deal with them that matters and my new bracelet reminds me of this. If I’m having a bad day I take a glance at my bracelet and think ‘OK today isn’t working out the way I’d hoped it would, but that’s OK, the lotus flower rises up out of dark conditions to be something wondrous, I can do that too’.
So, yep, let’s embrace this year with positivity, but let’s not get despondent if things don’t quite go to plan. Sometimes life is frankly a bit rubbish, but it will get better. I’ll leave you with these words from Coldplay who say it better than I ever could…