We all need help some times - we need the support, encouragement and help from others. We are not perfect, we all make mistakes, we have our weaknesses, and challenges to overcome (some times many challenges). Maybe we weren't treated very well when we were growing up, maybe others bullied us or took advantage of us in some way, maybe we suffered the death of a loved one, maybe we carry hurts and pain inside. So, whatever our challenges are, let's be willing to look for help when we need it. Let's recognize that we need to overcome certain issues to become better persons - to become more loving and accepting of ourselves and others. Let's not assume the attitude that: "we cannot change, this is who I am;" because we all have the power to change for the better, if we really want to. We can improve ourselves, in order to have better relationships with others and have a better life. There are times when we need some guidance and some good loving advice. Let's be open minded and accept the help that others are willing to give us. Let's acknowledge that it's O.K. to seek help when we feel overwhelmed and stressed out (with school work, with relationships, with jobs, etc.); when we feel depressed or anxious; when we cannot sleep well; or when we are having a problem with an addiction (to food, to drugs, to alcohol, etc.).
We go to a doctor when we don't feel well, when we are physically ill. We can also go to a counselor, a psychotherapist or a psychiatrist when we are emotionally upset, when we feel that we cannot function, when we feel that we want to talk to someone; when we are having difficulties in school, with friends, or struggle with negative thoughts. Counseling can help you deal with many problems - emotional, social, etc. It's very important to learn to express our feelings and to learn to let go of anger, resentments, guilt, bitterness, jealousy, etc. We have to do this for ourselves, we deserve the best!
There are times when someone else can help us sort out our feelings and guide us to find positive ways to express our negative emotions. If we don't feel comfortable with a doctor or with a psychologist, psychiatrist or social worker; we can always find another person. We may need the support and help of many people and many hours of reflection, therapy and reading self-help books - and let's not forget PRAYER - for us to feel better. That's the important thing, for us to accept the fact that we need help and become pro-active in our lives. We cannot be in denial when we know something doesn't feel right. We should not start harboring all kinds of negative thoughts, anger and bad feelings, and keeping all these inside of us; because then one day we could explode and do irrational things. It's good for us to admit that we cannot do it alone. Time will help us heal - when we are willing to help ourselves. Helping ourselves also means seeking the help we need. We have to keep an open mind, remain optimistic, learn to accept criticism and not take things so personally. Let's put our pride aside and accept with open arms the good intentions of others. And if you believe in prayer -like I do- pray too! It's O.K. to feel vulnerable at times, it's O.K. to JUST BE US... Let's not become so "proud", that then we don't allow anyone in our lives; that then we build walls that no one can enter; that then we don't allow others to love us. It's O.K. to accept our mistakes.
Of course, our parents will make mistakes, others will make mistakes, we will make mistakes; but if you learn to communicate your feelings, learn to say I'm sorry and learn to forgive your family, your friends, your neighbors, your classmates, your teachers, etc. for their ignorance or their weaknesses - you will feel better inside. Also, it's necessary to learn to forgive yourself for just being human and - like everyone else - making mistakes. The important thing is to learn from those mistakes and not keep repeating them over and over again; but we cannot continue blaming others for our problems (no matter what!) - we have to assume responsibility for our actions. Let's look forward to our future, to our dreams, to our independence, to our freedom. Let's learn to appreciate what we have and always concentrate in the good - and take advantage of the wonderful opportunities available to us everywhere. Don't hold on to anger, resentments, misery. Remember: ONLY YOU CAN MAKE YOUR LIFE HAPPY. Only you can make a difference in your life! No one else, only YOU! If you are not happy with what you are doing, then do something else - don't keep finding excuses. But do finish High School and then decide what you want to do in the future. Don't concentrate in making money, but in doing something that you will enjoy, something that will bring you satisfaction (and believe me, the money will come). And if you see your work as "service" - if your feel that in some way you are helping others or your family or your country or yourself, that somehow YOU are making a difference - you definitely will feel a great sense of accomplishment.
Sometimes society, our parents, our family, put too much pressure on us. We need time to make the right decisions for us. So try to be patient and understanding and take your time to choose what you really want. Don't rush so much into becoming an adult - with so many responsibilities. Be responsible for your life and think carefully about the consequences that your actions will create. If your intentions are good - good things will happen.
Find time to read. Once you start doing it on a regular basis, you won't be able to stop. We can learn a great deal from books and there are many good ones out there. So make it a habit. Reading a few pages every day doesn't take much time and you can find great teachings and inspiration.
Please check Dave Peltzer's books: "A Child Called It", "The Lost Boy", "A Man Named Dave" and "Help Yourself". They are remarkable and very powerful - a must read. The first three are a biographical collection that chronicle his personal triumph over abuse. In the last one, he gives good advice on overcoming personal problems and becoming a better person.
Dr. Wayne Dyer has also written some excellent books; please check his website. His latest one "10 Secrets for Success and Inner Peace" is really great! I also recommend Jim Dreaver's book "The Way of Harmony: Walking the Inner Path to Balance, Happiness and Success"; it has some great lessons and messages (another favorite!).
Lucinda Bassett is a wonderful and very smart lady and her books "Life Without Limits" and "From Panic to Power" are excellent. They have great practical advice and beautiful lessons - please check them out. She even offers a program to fight anxiety and depression (www.anxietysolution.com) that I'm sure must be very helpful.
Rob Garofalo, teacher and motivational speaker, wrote a powerful book too: "A Winner By Any Standard" - which I find very inspirational and also highly recommend it (check www.TeenWinners.com)
I recommend the following websites (that give good information about teenage issues):
www.anxietycentre.com/anxiety-tips/Jan10-07.shtml; www.covenanthouse.com; http://us.reachout.com/wecanhelpus/; www.about.com/teens/; www.oprah.com; www.teenhelp.org; www.teenadvice.about.com; dmoz.org/Kids_and_Teens/Teen_Life/Advice/; www.LeoBuscaglia.com; www.peacepilgrim.org; www.josephsoninstitute.org; www.drwaynedyer.com; www.jimdreaver.com, www.stresscenter.com; www.TeenWinners.com;
www.charactercounts.org. For girls: www.girlshealth.gov.
Also check: www.childtrauma.org; www.justiceforchildren.org; www.bayharborfoundation.org; www.klaaskids.org; http://stclairbutterflyfoundation.org. Look online to find more, or ask your school or college counselors. Just your friends' advice is not enough! Become your own advocate! You deserve a happy and peaceful life! Remember: you can accomplish anything you set your mind to do...
And remember to stay away - as much as you can - from negative things and negative people. If you concentrate too much in all the negative aspects of this world; the bad news; the terrible things people do to others, etc. it will take a toll in your mind; it will truly affect your attitude and well being. I'm not saying that you shouldn't read or watch the news; but don't obsess with the bad things that happen, because it can make you feel very bad and depressed. Stay informed, but concentrate in the positive things! And if some of your so-called friends are very negative (or have what they called "toxic personalities") and are really affecting the way you feel and draining your energy (with their negative attitudes) - stay away from them; they are not "good friends" to have.
Always see the good in people and the good in everything!
If possible find some time to volunteer. You can find a place to work helping others in some way, and the rewards will be amazing! Trust me, you will feel better about yourself and you will put your problems in perspective. Whatever you do: NEVER, NEVER, NEVER GIVE UP!
Viktor Frankl, psychotherapist, taught that the primary cure to mental illness and spiritual anguish was for a person to find purpose in their life. We have to learn to embrace life - to love life! We have to learn to find meaning in our lives, because life has a meaning, and will always have meaning! So, challenge yourself to find "meaning" in your life, to find your purpose, and become a builder - not a destroyer...
Good luck and all the best, always!
"As long as we have hope, we have direction, the energy to move, and the map to move by. We have a hundred alternatives, a thousand paths and an infinity of dreams. Hopeful, we are halfway to where we want to go; hopeless, we are lost forever."
"Realize that true happiness lies within you. Waste no time and effort searching for peace and contentment and joy in the world outside. Remember that there is no happiness in having or in getting, but only in giving. Reach out. Share. Smile. Hug. Happiness is a perfume you cannot pour on others without getting a few drops on yourself."
"To forgive is the highest, most beautiful form of love. In return, you will receive untold peace and happiness."
"Nothing can bring you peace but yourself."
Ralph Waldo Emerson
America's unique, personalized, anonymous, and safe Internet resource to help kids face and overcome life's daily challenges.
"Journaling (writing in a journal) can help all of us. Bottling up your feelings can lead to all kinds of stress-related problems. Journaling lets you express those feelings without shouting or arguments. Plus, writing brings out unexpected solutions, and clarifies your priorities - while nudging your subconscious into helping you accomplish goals. Writing your goals tells your brain you're serious about making them happen."
Shifra Stein ("Unlocking the Power Within")
Teenagers are Amazing
by Jamie Haskins
Teenagers are amazing, I wish the world would see,
just how beautiful we are, how compassionate we can be.
I wish they could take back, all the cynical things they've said,
and see how much we shine, be positive instead.
Remark on our radiant smiles, and the differences we make,
all of the people our lives touch, all of the chances that we take.
Notice how we change, each and every day,
wanting to leave childhood, yet desperately wanting to stay.
I wish they could remember, how tough our lives can be,
the promises that are broken, the violence that we see.
Yet still we venture onward, unsure of where the road may lead,
hoping they will take notice, hoping they'll take heed,
of the changes that we've made, of the power that we hold,
of the wisdom we have hidden, of the stories yet untold.
I hope the world will notice, what some have already seen,
teenagers are amazing people, striving to follow their dreams.
All the best to you, always! Don't EVER give up!
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