Pair #87  There's no harm like self-harm
I am not sure it will shock any of you to know that we are raising a new generation of stressed out kids.

What I didn't know was the depth of where they go to release that stress.  I think imagined the reasons why a child might reach for pills and alcohol.

What I did not imagine was stressed out kids who think that a viable option for dealing with stress is through harming themselves.

They call this de-stress practice

As I researched the topic for the show on The Truth About Stress, I discovered a dark fact on the forums and boards on the internet...

Children of 12, 13, 15, screaming for help to find a way out of their stress.

"I'm stressed OUT and I don't know what to do!  I've tried everything - I've been cutting myself to relieve the stress" 

Cutting themselves? To relieve stress?  At 12 years old?

My heart beat in my throat as I read those almost exact words many times over.

And here is the worst part.  Knowing what we know about how stress is created and how it does not come from something outsides ourselves - imagine  cutting yourself to relieve the pain of your own thinking...

It's like thinking you need to shoot yourself with one hand so you'll stop hitting yourself with the other.

Cutting, drinking, drugs - all the myriad of "solutions" to the everyday problem of hugely over-wrought thinking.

Let's understand the nature of our own minds so we stop using them against ourselves

I'm not suggesting that any of us are harming ourselves because we are somehow wrong or stupid.  We   Each of us has come to understand the nature of life, to take distance from our problems, to see things from that shade outside of ourselves before we could see anything differently.  Yet now we have our own children and look what we are passing on to them.

Some of these children will never become distant from their problems in the natural course of a life. They will give up hope long before then and give up on life
Failing to teach what we failed to learn
Remember the days when GPA was EVERYTHING, when getting into the University of your choice felt like a matter of LIFE AND DEATH, and if you broke up YOU WOULD NEVER LOVE AGAIN?

These dramatic, all-or-nothing beliefs were part of our thinking too at one time. Now we know better. Or do we?

As I shared my love, care, my experience and my perhaps more 'philosophical' point of view with some of these young people I wondered, how many of us have mastered our own understanding enough to really teach the children? 

By the responses I saw, I'd say we are failing to.

And what will happen if we don't?  I shudder.

Then I remember why I do what I do.
More on this topic in the radio archives
Spiritual Parenting with Ami Chen Mills Naim author of The Spark Inside

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Pair #81 Is the internal forecast  mostly cloudy?
Before I got out of bed this morning I could hear the wind and rain.  As I sat with my tea, with the rain blowing sideways and the sky looking distinctly unfriendly...I realized...

it hadn't occurred to me to be upset.

In that moment I saw that I was perfectly content and I had no concern whatsoever that this storm would 'never finish' or that 'the sun will never come out again'. 

It just didn't cross my mind.  (or if it had, I had dismissed it)

When I talk about the nature of our internal weather, our emotions and our thinking, people often tell me we have habitual thoughts that hold us back and that it's really hard to change.

My answer is, well, the last time you thought about killing someone, did you actually do it? 

The fact is, we think. We are thinking our way through life.   And the fact is we are also ignoring some of our thinking all the time.

We are living in an internal weather system of thought.   

Isn't it interesting that we worry that thought storms will never pass?