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Teenagers and Spirituality
It may appear that teenagers are not spiritual beings because they are always on the move and very occupied while interacting with friends, attending school, engaging in sports and other extracurricular activities, and spending time exploring the technical world of internet, television, radio, video games, and cell phones. It takes time and reflection in order for a teenager to connect with their inner being.
Teenagers are notoriously busy and seemingly distracted. The teenage years are quite challenging, filled with uncertainty about who they are as individuals, the need to fit in with their peers, emotional and physical changes, early romantic notions, making preparations for adulthood, not to mention getting through school work. Teenagers have a great deal going on in their lives and it may be difficult for them to slow down and to find quiet time. They may even be uneasy at the thought of being in total silence for periods of time, and certainly they would not want to seem strange to their friends if they suddenly needed time alone.
Even so, it is important for teenagers to set aside time for themselves to discover who they are and what matters to them. In fact, it should be encouraged. Teenagers can establish some calm and grounding in their lives if they take the time to tune in to their inner being. Finding a peaceful place to sit quietly is the most beneficial. Some appropriate places can be anywhere out in nature…..near a pond or another body of water, a big rock or overturned log in the woods to sit on, a grassy hill, a serene area in the backyard, even the teenager’s own bedroom.
The location itself is not that important as long as it is a place where the teenager feels comfortable and can have quiet time with no distractions. Here the teenager can listen to the silence or to nature sounds around them, feel the serenity of the moment, become aware of their own breathing, connect with their feelings, and listen to their deepest thoughts. Teenagers can learn to meditate, and this time can also include prayer if he or she chooses. Some of this time can also be spent being creative, which can include drawing or painting. The unique spirit inside will come through as more time is spent on reflection and personal discovery.
The result of a teenager taking the time to tap into their most private self is the realization of what makes them who they are, what brings them happiness, increased self-awareness, and more harmony within. They will start to look at the world with more love and compassion in their hearts. They will see more beauty in their surroundings and will understand that nature can be a most comforting friend and sanctuary when dealing with difficult situations along life’s journey. With time a teenager’s spirituality will carry them into adulthood, and will increase their confidence to reach their full potential as a loving, caring, stable and fulfilled human being.
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