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, February 14, 2007

"Hidden Feelings"

Sometimes it seems that many people in this world hide their true feelings - most of the time. They keep secrets and many feelings well hidden deep inside. Today I read some beautiful and interesting poems, written by young teens; one of them written by someone I know... a powerful poem in “TeenSpeak – Philadelphia” at http://www.teenspeakusa.com (site no longer available). The truth is that as parents, teachers, aunts, uncles, friends, we don’t take the time to truly listen to others; or to ask about their feelings – to really connect with them. As a teacher and a mother I think I can sense pretty well when my daughters and students are happy or sad, angry or upset about something, and when they just don’t feel right. I personally try my best to ask how they feel and to make them express themselves. But I’m not always successful at this; it’s hard for many people to be able to honestly communicate how they feel. We just have to keep trying. We have to make time to allow others to express themselves and talk about their feelings; to break that invisible barrier and allow others to open up and talk. Or to make others understand how important it is to speak up and write about their true feelings.

Feelings should not be bottled up inside; whether positive or negative we have to let them out. We have to learn to express ourselves; whether we write in a journal or diary, in a blog, in a piece of paper or an index card or whether we talk to our best friends, a counselor, our parents, our teachers. I recommend both ways: writing and talking. Take the time to express yourself! You may have to watch a little less TV, play fewer computer or video games, listen to a little less music or spend less time searching the Internet or instant-messaging your friends; whatever you have to do to take time for yourself and pay attention to how you feel, and how others feel. Time to reflect, time to be creative, time to be yourself! And also time to listen (to really listen to our friends and be there for them and others).

Reading many of these poems I came to realize that everyone carries a lot of pain inside. No matter what; no matter how young or old you are, no matter how happy someone appears to be, no matter how much their parents support and love them, no matter how lucky they seem to be; there’s always hidden pain, feelings of being inadequate, not good enough, not pretty or attractive enough, angry feelings, hidden resentments, and many fears. It seems that how others feel about us affect us too. We sense other people’s feelings, their insecurities, anger, jealousy, resentments – and somehow these affect us too. We feel how others feel and sense when they are judgmental and critical of us. All this can affect us in a negative way; unless we learn to confront those feelings and believe in ourselves.
Let’s try our best to confront those negative feelings (whether ours or from others) and let them out. Let’s concentrate in the best that we have: the love of our family, the love of our friends, the happy times, the good in others, the good in us – the good stuff! We can overcome anything; we have the power to be very strong! We can accomplish anything we set our minds to do. We can persevere and change our thoughts. We can learn to accept and love ourselves, and remember that we have the power to change if we really want to. We deserve the best, even if others don’t believe it. We have to believe it! When we do the right thing for us and for others, we’ll feel better; and even if we fall and fail many times, we have to believe that we can stand up again, move on and be successful. If we believe, the right people and the right circumstances will come into our lives... Have faith!

This Mask
(Many times in our lives we feel like we’re wearing a mask or like we have to wear a mask. Have you ever felt this way?)

This mask I wear is not the real me.
It only makes me look happy and carefree.
This mask that I wear can hide all my fears,
Of everyday life, yet, they won’t disappear.
This mask I wear can hide all my pain
That I feel all the time, yet, I don’t take in vain.
This mask I wear helps me when I’m down,
So I can ignore all the words and the sounds.
This mask I wear helps me in many things,
Like the troubles of life which everyday brings.
(Written by an 8th Grader)

And believe it or not, many times what we eat and drink affect our moods too. So pay attention to how certain things (like sweets) affect you; including hormonal changes, of course. Try not to take things personally and just live your best life without taking life so seriously. Set your goals and dreams (and believe in them), take the time to think about what you really want in life; then everything will be fine. I promise you!

Monday, February 12, 2007

"Loving Yourself"

Sounds funny, doesn't it? And yet, it's one of the most important things we have to learn in life. Why? Because most of our problems are due to the fact that most of us may not know how to truly love ourselves. People who don't love themselves are always looking for someone to love them, and going out of their way to try to please others - even if what they have to do to please them is inappropriate, demeaning or simply the wrong thing to do. Since they don't know how to love themselves, they settle for anything - scraps of what they think is love. They attract people who don't love themselves and that make their lives miserable.

Mary Blige said the following in the "Parade Magazine" of the Philadelphia Inquirer: “I had no self-respect. I was depending on others to make me feel good, but they hated themselves too. You always attract people who are just like you… I was miserable…”

To be able to heal…“I decided to forgive all the people who had hurt me and to forgive and love myself… If you don’t forgive, you’re not going to be able to move on. You’ll be stuck in hatred and bitterness, meditating on all the hurt, probably dying from all the bitterness bottled up inside you. I let it go. I began to trust and have faith. I began to love myself. I moved on.”

When you learn to love yourself, you’ll find people that really care about you and love you for who you are; people that won’t use you or abuse you because you learn to be strong and stand by your principles. You find the power to say NO when you have to; because you value and respect yourself. You won’t allow others to disrespect you. You don’t need to be around people who put you down and make you feel bad; people who ask you to do the wrong thing all the time, people who hate themselves…

So, learn to love yourselves, to be strong, to have faith. Only then will you attract the right people in your lives; only then, will you find happiness - because you won't settle for anything less. Recognize when you're allowing others to mistreat you, to make you feel bad, to put you down and don't allow this to happen anymore. Be confident that you know what is right for you and follow your heart.

“The very best thing you can do for the whole world is to make the most of yourself…” Wallace D. Wattles

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