You may or may not know I have a special place in my heart for Teens.
I see young children so free, I watch them enter their teens and begin to box themselves in.
Simultaneously as they stretch their wings they also tend to stop being free.
Often I see them tortured by the mind made electric fences of "What will my peers think?" wanting to fit in and also be different.
This is when their world opens up so large... they are exposed to large groups of people and other teens coming from diverse backgrounds, beliefs, and upbringing... they get to see there are THOUSANDS of ways to live and be and think and suddenly what they knew growing up has come into question.. the question of "Is the way I was taught- the best way? Is there a different way? What way is MY way?"
I really believe everyone's bottom line (teens too) is the same:
I WANT TO KNOW I AM LOVED, FEEL LOVED AND BE FREE TO GIVE LOVE.
All efforts are in pursuit of that.
As parents if we do NOTHING else, let us teach them they are LOVED.
LOVED without agenda, LOVED whether or not they achieve ANYTHING, whether or not they believe as we do, whether or not they look perfect, or earn perfect grades.
We can only show them... by LOVING and ACCEPTING ourselves.
Routinely in speaking events I do, I have Mother's say their daughters refuse to love themselves or believe they are beautiful... and I see they are mirror imaging their Mother's.
As Mother's pray for this by their bedside saying "How? How can I teach them they are beautiful and loved?" the answer from God is always the same "By acknowledging YOU are beautiful and worthy of LOVE."
I facilitate Drum Circles. I gather groups of people together. I see the adult women in the group laugh and dance and empower one another. I see them JUMP UP and SERVE one another. I see them OPEN AND FREE and willing to look SILLY.
And guess what....
I see the teens... step forward and give themselves permission to do the same.
Last night I watched as the teens stepped forward and began to act out and play and laugh and sing and be dramatic and goofy... I watched as the women and other adults encouraged them and cheered them on and sent LOVE and ACCEPTANCE to them.
I watched the LIGHT within them GROW as they recognized it was OKAY to be DIFFERENT and being UNIQUE was Divine. Being UNIQUE was welcomed and empowered and revered.