Laying Down Foundations For Kick-Starting Your Own Process Of Empowerment
The author of the story: pH
Translator from FI-ENG: Annika Valo
Youth Guarantee House, Turku, Finland
Empowerment is a great and descriptive term. It all begins with the change in your way of thinking, wherein what matters is your inner perception of self and your place in society. You no longer feel like a victim, having fallen from the path that most people take. In contrast to empowerment, the former victim mentality – which I used to fall for - takes its toll not only in your mind but very importantly also in weakening your personal agency. You no longer feel like being the master of your own life, the actor moving the vehicle called you, but instead find yourself being an object of actions taken, most often by by other people, be they social workers, physicians, or whoever. In this case you are the client for variety of services, but no longer the author, driver, and master of your own life.

Empowerment could, for instance, be described within the frames of constructing a house. This description also impresses upon the fact that the process of empowerment will take time. Instead of a house, you are really building up your very own persona. In order for you to feel good about yourself, all parts of you must've been attended to. All parts of you must feel loved from the inside and worthwhile in their own eyes rather than outside.

When your personal agency is weakened and you are constantly worrying and find yourself being at the lowest level in your life, then you might actually mentally see yourself and your actions in the eyes of someone else. Often you'll find that your self-worth is merely based on looking for approval from others around you.

This realization is the first step en route to personal empowerment, so that you can begin to create your very own best version of you. No longer feeling like victim but someone who is currently having some difficulties in their lives, but working determinedly towards a persona and a charisma that is rock-solid through and through - and unstoppable. And you start once again feeling those wonderful, amazing, likable personality-traits and positive feelings which formerly were hidden by the negative feelings and experiences from the past.

The story of my own empowerment began with keeping a solid pattern of sleep, even though I had next to no plans on most days to follow. It added to my sense of belonging to society, as I had the same schedule as most of the people. Having achieved this, it became easier to make plans, as I would know my day-to-day patterns ahead of time.

In addition to this first phase, I decided, having been saturated by all the negative news, to get something positive into my every day. I started to feel gratitude and compassion for myself and for others. It's worth stating that I had no specific reason for feeling gratitude, but I included it to life. Now I realise that people, for some accustomed reason of course, seem to think, that one needs some specific reason for feeling gratitude. When I chose to include it in my everyday life, I started by feeling thankful for example for the beauty and diversity of nature. Having exercised gratitude daily, I have found out that it only increases the quality of everyday life.

The most important reason for feeling gratitude and appreciation has been and is the social activities by The Youth Guarantee House. It is an exclusive group of young people about my age meeting at a specific location meeting twice a week. While continuing on the path of personal empowerment it's also important to learn from one's mistakes; something that has never been easy for myself. Be kind to others and very importantly to yourself. Learn to know your limits; if you overencumbered yourself, you'll actually recede on your path to self-empowerment. Been there done that. If you were to attempt an unlikely leap forwards and fail, remember to have compassion for yourself, rather than you scold and reprimand yourself, as the latter will make the life as a victim seem more appealing as the path to personal empowerment.

Negative feelings from years past, and those that occur at times now, do still affect me, but my own process of empowerment has got my sense of self-worth, my sympathy towards everyone as well as my everyday functioning to increase considerably.

The past may remind me of itself – perhaps sometimes in the imaginary form of a serpent in the back of my mind, who raises its head and hisses negative things – things that I know for certain would stop my process of empowerment. I am still learning how to strengthen my foundations, so that any doubts raised by myself or by other people, or even what others think of me, would not affect negatively on my self worth and self-assurance.

The author of the story: Pinjazu
Translator from FI-ENG: Annika Valo
Youth Guarantee House, Helsinki, Finland

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