by Rebecca Kirk, M.A. MFT&C
(Cycle numbered below is quoted and adapted from Dr. James Dobson’s Preparing for Adolescence.)
- Admit you have been hurt, and those inner scars need to be removed.
- Know you are not alone in your pain and that it is more common than uncommon. (It takes more courage to admit the pain because it is scary to face our past scars.)
- Compensate for your weaknesses.
- Make genuine friends.
Lastly, making genuine friends is quite possibly the most difficult goal of all. No one would argue about needing to do this, but differences occur in defining which friends fulfill this definition. Unfortunately when we think of groups of friends that could be options, our minds think in polar opposites. For instance, we think of people completely opposite from our group or just like them. (We leave out a whole realm of people that would argue that they are more than just two extremes of people!)
(in our second blog of this month) both loved and hated the guys that she disrespected herself for, you will both dislike and like the people you are trying to impress. Ask yourself if they truly would accept you if you didn’t conform to who they are and the things they love doing. Would they keep inviting you places, or would they joke or make fun of you for being “too innocent” to your face or behind your back? If you truly have conviction over having low expectations, drinking, smoking, experimenting with drugs, or experimenting with sexual intimacy, are you with people who are not currently participating in such activities? Maybe you began associating with them because of your feelings of low self-worth or regret. Studies overwhelmingly prove that having just one friend can influence people greatly. “You are who you hang around” has become a cliché that is overstated, not because it is a lie, but because it is true! Often people have to experience what this feels like from rock bottom after they have practically lost all the genuine people (who refuse to also hurt themselves) before they will join the multitudes of people voicing the warning. Though it is the hardest and most heroic thing a teenager can do, choosing a better group of people who ask the question, “how long does it last” is LIFE. Furthermore, it builds confidence, self-dignity, and hope because it stays secure in a person throughout the storms of life! Sydney
Maybe you are a fish, wishing to be a butterfly, while a butterfly ironically wishes to be you. I hope you will seek a healthy, older person who will partner with you to see the magnificent beauty that only you can paint in this world. I hope you listen to your unique voice, recognize its might, and are happy in your own skin even if it means sitting alone at the lunch table for awhile while you try to find better people who love themselves humbly and have high expectations for their futures. Then you will be truly grateful for the gift of you on this earth, and that gratitude will last forever! There is NOTHING more heroic than for a teenager to do this, not to mention rewarding!