"The proper function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them. I shall use my time."
Resuming the Bi-Polar American
There have been so many things going on in my life, inside and out, of recent, but when I saw the reports of two young teenagers, 15 and 16, killing themselves, I couldn't help being effected.
I've met so many young kids in this town, some have jobs, do well in school, have ambition, know where they are going, but these are very much the minority.
Most of what I see have been teenagers completely out of touch with the world around them, parents equally out of touch or even out of reach. Nobody to turn to, except friends, drugs or alcohol.
It's not a pretty picture, teenagers with no self esteem, no skills, no security whatsoever, hiding their pain, just trying to survive.
Life is what we make it or how much we can take it
Who the hell just wants to survive out there, raise your hands? Not me. Doesn't sound like a great future, simply surviving.
And I'm not talking about how much money you have, your car, your hair color, skin color, your boobs, your dicks, I'm talking about how you think and what you create with those thoughts.
Now who wants to learn what you really are? I know any teenager faced with that question thinks they would rather not know who they really are because it's going to be bad news. They are going to be told of a terrible nature they wish they could avoid hearing about.
Knowing what you are and being judged have to be clarified to get this point.
Judgment, good or bad, as they say, is simply a way of defining things. It's also a way of causing separation, division, miscommunication, all really cool things too. Sometimes though it can be described as a decision making process but is nevertheless inferior to understanding and acceptance.
Understanding means a willingness to go past the cover of the book and really get inside and find out what is going on. It's not a necessarily unpleasant task, it means you take more into consideration whereas judging you narrow the field.
When we were all young, tiny ones, we crawled around, finding things, tasting them, touching them, spitting some out, and experiencing the world. It was fun, dangerous, great. There were no parameters at this juncture, and the world was incredible. Television...ooo...now we have 9000 channels and nothing to watch. At one some juncture you probably found a different type of grass interesting, the tiny stalks called a lawn.
Remember looking up in the sky and seeing the vastness, watching the blinking, the stars, the color, the moon, it was all part of the universe, a big, big, big universe with variety, sanity, chaos, God; we were in heaven. Our minds and spirits were open and the world was abundant in every way.
We had our keepers, our parents or whomever loved us enough to care for us, in most cases, we were kept from danger as we began the journey.
It's all still here, and you have to find it, believe in it, and have faith that everything is the way it is supposed to be.
What I notice with teenagers is the beginning of "losing yourself" which is necessary to beginning the bigger journey finding yourself in everything else.
You're moving through a process
Then comes fear, it's the time of life where we have to look at the dangerous side, as unlike the stage of exploration and adventure which some of us were allowed early on, we start looking for absolutes.
These absolutes are to protect us as we have swung on the pendulum from gas to brakes. It is a stage, that hopefully we can break through, where we have our "rebellion."
We need to be told how to be ourselves for some odd reason at this point of life, I don't understand, but it comes along with the fear stage.
Seeking a structure to live in our minds and hearts begins to appear. Sometimes this is where I notice many people must get caught in their lives. The need for a "rule book" or a set of instructions comes from that fear the feeling of separation which is a natural course if you follow it through.
When you begin thinking for yourself, you will learn that we are all thinking the same things. So, you think you're so smart? You are.
You start out on a course of adventure, there is nothing to fear. You move to the next stage where everything should be feared. Spiders are no longer friends to follow across the fence. They are dangerous man eating, poisonous, deadly creatures which must be eliminated for your survival.
At this point I think we all begin to understand our adventure could be over if we decide to swim in the pool and don't know how to swim.
Eventually, we delineate what is dangerous in our opinion, and what is an acceptable risk. Balancing it out. The world is all bi-polar from the north pole to the south pole.
Then we begin to question everything, and we don't really like the answers we are getting as young adults. Our parents didn't tell us everything did they? How could your mother tell you about the time she and her pals drank until they puked and slept with her cousin or something?
Communication breaks down as parents try to remain in control as they see more danger than a teenager who simply hasn't had that much experience. But at this point, we all must break free of our parents/society/family/ and begin the fun part of being responsible for our own actions.
Again, we go the other way and learn that our parents weren't as stupid or even, were worse than we thought.
Now you think for yourself
I can't help wondering how these two particular teens made the decision to go to the extreme of suicide.
There are always multitudes of answers for problems, but one answer that has no return receipt is suicide.
These very young people made a serious decision. There had to be a problem that they believed this was an answer to use. We don't know what it was necessarily, but we see they did not communicate with anyone to warn them of this potential decision.
I wonder myself these days and especially now why I thought suicide was an option for me.
Suicide doesn't have to be a sudden death, it can be a lifetime of self abuse, it can be killing your spirit, denying your knowledge of being part of it all, letting yourself be used by others to the point of not knowing your own worth. No, I think suicide is a way of thinking.
We at any point must start thinking for ourselves, as I spoke of understanding and acceptance.
As a teen you are still working under the boss, your keepers, your teachers, your family hierarchy, but if you are not communicating or able to be close and truthful, learning trust, you may find yourself feeling alienated and alone.
Often these are the fuels which lead to the desire to consider death as an alternative to life. We have been given that option, there is a way to override any instinct for continued existence.
Understand you are okay no matter if you were the one who spilled the Kool aid on the carpet, the one who is labeled "always in trouble," the fat kid, the red haired kid, the youngest, oldest, whatever, it really is okay and so are you.
Now what are you going to do with this? You're going to open your mouth and talk to someone if you feel like you need to talk. Some people want to tell you what to do and that makes them feel important. Sometimes they are more correct than you and that's okay too.
Just talk...Don't go down the road of suicide or even long term suicide, there are many answers and just as many people with ideas, so seek them out. If you find you have no one, you are not looking hard enough. It's right there, it's called prayer in certain circles and meditation and focus, these are all states of mind.
You are never "alone." It's sometimes a matter of reaching out and developing a trust in the universe, but for those who like absolutes, you are never alone. The universe is so close you may not even see it. It's there always.
It's only in how you choose to percieve it does it change into either loneliness for some, freedom for others, time to think for some, and moments with our attention toward God.
I've been working with kids all my life, as I've been passing along what I have learned, I find I am the one doing the learning. Thank you. I've gained so much from talking with these kids many of you walk by or judge. They have helped me learn about what happened to me in my life while often times brightening my day with their whispy ways.
My basic message is that you the next generation, are all right. You have a challenge ahead of you as you have seen what greed, war, racism, sexism, genocide, did to this world over the ages. You also have new tools and new dreams for the future.
But first you have to get through today. If it's too tough, as it sometimes is, don't make it worse, you have the power to make it better: you think it better. (no band aid required)
Stay alive and create miracles
First thing I want to make sure is that nobody judges these children who committed suicide as them being any more flawed than the rest of us. They weren't weak, they weren't inferior, they were simply human. They made a decisions that is all.
We are the ones who should learn.
They are in God's arms, safe and secure, and we are here to talk about what other options there are in this challenging world around us.
Let me tell you there is so much out there you need to go back and start over and begin your journey everyday.
You are flawed, but perfectly so. Enjoy it, laugh at it, and remember that you have been given all you will ever need. We are all going to die eventually, but now is the time you've been given to live.
What are you doing with it? Right now...Each moment you have a choice.