This newsletter was inspired by one amazing teen (T), and is dedicated to another, (M).
When T told me recently, that when he truly understands his self worth and develops a bigger self love, with disregard to what people think of him/her, this is when he would truly feel the outmost version of FREEDOM. I could not agree more!!!!
You see, we tend to think of freedom within the social-political perspective – equality, freedom to vote, to express one’s own opinion and religious ritual etc….but how often we discuss this aspect; the freedom from caring and controlling people’s opinions of us?????
Here, I don’t negate for a second the joy of being appreciated, valued, significant, good at what we do and it is the PEOPLE around us that will share their positive feedback to make us realize just how good we are, how talented, gifted etc. This is beautiful and we should all cheer each other on.
The problem begins when we perceive ourselves ONLY in consideration to what others tell us we are; how they make us feel. We create – here we go again, ATTACHMENT to people’s good opinion of us and when that is not happening or worse, we get criticized, ignored or, as our teen experience often – not getting enough “likes”, “comments”, “shares” or invitation to the next big party, that is where FREEDOM goes off the window!!!
That is where I draw the line with my kids, and if they experience this or not, is not even the point, but the talk about detachment from that kind of need is well emphasized in our household. I want FREE HEALTHY kids who create, love, explore, discover their own calling, their own unique way and if others approve, wonderful! If they stand “alone” powered by their way and their truth, I say GO!!!!!
Try to imagine yourself completely free of that “hold” people have over you; your extended family, your friends, your neighbors, your colleagues….it is constant. When and where do we leave room to ask ourselves what WE think of ourselves???? Is that not the most important opinion? Creating, doing, unfolding and discovering with a complete disregard to what people say/ think/do….is daring you to sit AT THE CENTER OF YOU and serve the world around you much much more.
With Social Media (and I’m not here to ban it, but definitely not a fan), when we feel the urge to post where we ate/vacationed and who was there with us, or else, it is as if it never happened, what does it say about our idea of FREEDOM???
And our teens? Their constant exposure to all the parties they have not been invited to, to all comments about something that happened at school, etc, etc, keeps them attached to their peers perception of them and are we doing enough to buy back their freedom???
T, you are so wise beyond your years and if there is any reason you create ripples around you, it is due to that power!!! And M, you are gorgeous, talented, smart and powerful, with or without a group of “friends” around you!!!