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
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
If you'd like to comment on this topic, or suggest more topics for discussion on the show that you find important, please do Send your comments
If you wish to reprint, feel free, please link back here and if it's of use, include:
"Elese Coit is a leader in transformative personal change and Hosts the Radio Show A New Way To Handle Absolutely Everything. To see the world differently, reach for one of her '101 New Pairs of Glasses' each day on http://elesecoit.com"