Teens Self Help

A medium to express myself and talk about my feelings, hoping to inspire you... "Believe in yourself, in the power you have to control your own life day by day. Believe in the strength that you have deep inside and your faith will help show you the way. Believe in tomorrow and what it will bring. For things will work out if you trust and believe there is no limit to what you can do!" (Larry S. Chengges)

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Seize the Special Moments...

Through our lives we experience many special moments; unfortunately, most of us don’t pay too much attention to these moments, and we simply forget them. Let’s try our best to seize those special times in our lives, claim them, save them in your mind (or write about them in your journal), and treasure them always. Those memories will bring us joy and comfort, especially, when we experience trying times. Remembering those very special occasions will make us feel better about ourselves, about our friends and family, about our loved ones and about our lives.

These moments don’t have to be big over-the-top events; they can be very simple-little-everyday special moments – like a friend’s hug, our dog’s greeting, laughter shared, a funny joke, a compliment, or other small but happy occasion. So, start paying attention to those very special little moments, be observant and remember with gratitude how blessed you are.

Bonding with others

"Every person needs and has the capacity to bond with other people, with significant undertakings and with meaningful experiences. Do I have difficulty bonding? Is the difficulty in all areas or only in certain ones? Do I bond easily with my job, but have trouble bonding with people? Or vice versa? Examine the reasons for not bonding. Is it because I am too critical and find fault in everything as an excuse for not bonding? Am I too locked in my own ways? Is my not bonding a result of discomfort with vulnerability? Have I been hurt in my past bonding experiences? Has my trust been abused? Is my fear of bonding a result of the deficient bonding I experienced as a child?" (Rabbi Simon Jacobson)

I believe that one of our greatest priorities in life is to learn to "bond" with others: connect, befriend, feel comfortable with other people (like friends, co-workers, classmates, relatives, etc.) It's hard for some people to learn to get along with others; to listen to them and respect their opinions; to avoid being critical and judgmental all the time; to love without expecting too much in return and without so many conditions; to stop taking everything so personally...

When I was in High School I had a very hard time connecting with others, because I was very shy and didn't have good socialization skills. I was extremely introverted. Luckily in College, thanks to some great friends, people who accepted me as I was, I learned the great skill of "bonding". It took me a while; but little by little I learned how to connect with my co-workers, students, friends, relatives, etc. I enjoy showing true concern and love for others (I feel energized when others respond in positive ways). Everyone likes to receive attention and to me, it's comforting and enjoyable to give others my complete attention as much as possible. Now, even when others don't respond to kindness and love - we have to be patient; we have to remember that maybe they have a hard time trusting others, because they were probably hurt many times before. They may not trust our intentions, because of that lack of trust and confidence.

Let's examine our capacity to bond with others and try to see where we're failing; by admitting our weaknesses we can become better persons and learn to improve and overcome those flaws. And let's not be so harsh on ourselves, after all: nobody is perfect!

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Are you comfortable with yourself?

Do you feel comfortable with yourself? Do you like who you are? Do you feel confident? Think about it! When we are comfortable with ourselves and like who we are, we get along better with others. We don't get upset about every little thing; we don't get hurt easily. We become more understanding and compassionate. The behavior of others don't affect us that much, because we don't take things personally. We become more forgiving.

But what if others (acquaintances, friends and relatives) are the ones who get hurt with us and don't recognize that their behavior was wrong? What if others never apologize because in their minds they are always right? Well, here we have to make a conscious decision. Do we really want their friendship? Do we really want their love? Is their love real or fake? Do they even know how to love? Can we love them even when they are self-centered and selfish? If we feel that their love is definitely worth it, no matter what, then let's give them a second and third chance. After all, they say that love is about "second chances and forgiveness". As long as they respect who we are and treat us with the respect we deserve; and as long as we feel comfortable with them, because we know that somehow we'll make things work. If they don't respect us or show consideration for what we stand for, for what we believe, for who we are... then the relationship is not worth it! It's not about being selfish, but about choosing positive friendships and relationships that bring happiness and love into our lives, instead of stress and negative feelings. Choose people that are comfortable with themselves and you'll have a better chance of enjoying a positive and healthy relationship.

We can disagree with others and yet, respect them for who they are and what they believe. We can concentrate in their good qualities and common interests. And, the more comfortable we are with ourselves the easier it becomes to be comfortable with others; as long as RESPECT is always present and the main ingredient in the relationship.

"A loving relationship is one in which individuals trust each other enough to become vulnerable; secure that the other person won't take advantage. It neither exploits nor takes the other for granted. It involves much communication, much sharing, and much tenderness."

"A loving relationship is one in which one can be open and honest with one another without the fear of being judged. It's being secure in the knowledge that you are each other's best friend and no matter what happens you will stand by one another."

(Quotes from "Loving Each Other" by Leo Buscaglia)

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Are you loving enough?

Do we give people a chance to love us? Or are we too demanding? Too controlling? Too inflexible?

Leo Buscaglia wrote in "Loving Each Other" (one of my all-time favorite books): "We are not evil, inadequate or incompetent when our relationships fail. It may have been that we were simply overconfident about them, not adequately prepared for them or unrealistic in our expectations of them. Not all relationships are right. As long as values change, insights expand, human façades remain impenetrable and human behaviors unpredictable, we will make mistakes."

"The very measure of a good relationship is in how much it encourages optimal intellectual, emotional and spiritual growth. So, if a relationship becomes destructive, endangers our human dignity, prevents us from growing, continually depresses and demoralizes us - then, unless we are masochists and enjoy misery, we must eventually terminate it. We are not for everyone and everyone is not for us. The question is: If we cannot be with another, can we at least not hurt them? Can we, at least, find a way to coexist?"

Relationships involve the big word "commitment"; we have to be willing to make them work - and work hard to keep them healthy, caring and loving. We have to be willing to "compromise". We all have our weaknesses and our strengths; but when we learn to concentrate in the "good in others", give them the benefit of the doubt, and become very respectful and patient with them, our relationships - most likely- will be successful and happy ones. Is it easy? No... but it's definitely worth it to try our best!

"Look for the good in others, everybody has their own song to sing."

"Give people a chance to love you, for that is how you learn to love."

"To pursuit, create, build and preserve our loving relationships, should be our most important priority in life."

"She who cannot forgive others breaks the bridge over which she must pass herself." George Herbert

"We can only trust others when we learn to trust ourselves... We can only forgive others when we learn to forgive ourselves... We can only love others when we learn to love ourselves..."

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

The Blaming Game

It is very easy for many people to blame others for their problems. They rather blame others than accept responsibility for their own lives; and for the actions that created that life. It's easier when they pretend that nothing is their fault, that they always know what is right; that they never make mistakes... They sometimes stop talking to you because they blame you for their unhappiness; they get upset easily and they cannot trust you - or others. It is very hard to deal with people like this, you feel like they drain your energy; like no matter what you do, they'll find something wrong and they'll put you down (with actions or words); they are hard to please.

We are all responsible for our thoughts, actions and intentions! We are the designers of our lives and the creators of our reality. Our life is our responsibility. We have the freedom to choose what is right for us and ultimately, we are responsible for all the choices that we make. We always have the power to control our thoughts and our actions - to think and act responsibly. Others may never please us or may never fulfill our expectations, but we cannot blame them for everything that is wrong in our lives. We shouldn't be so demanding...

Let's stop assuming things and let's try to communicate with others and express our feelings. If others don't want to hear what we have to say; then let's write it down. When we write a letter - even if we don't send it - we let go of our negative feelings. It's not good to hold on to them - they will only hurt us! Release the hurt, release the fear.