It's common knowledge that teenagers go through a phase of insecurity hence the widespread bullying epidemic in schools. We've accepted this as a necessary reaction to a rite of passage. Of course teenagers are flooded with new hormones that make emotional regulation difficult, their bodies are changing and they're trying to establish their sense of self. Compounded by the pressure of college, of career paths, of the fierce competition between peers, of course teenage years are marked by rebellion. In ways it's healthy- it's individualization in process.
What we don't realize is that something is very very wrong. What does this all come down to? Not just the inherent issues with the school systems and the very real and toxic pressure that SHOULD NOT be placed on children or teenagers that essentially robs them of their well being and sense of being PRESENT, but it's functioning on SELF-REJECTION. Teenagers have nubile minds and this widespread pattern is showing that the absorption of TOXIC culture leads to a sense of being LOST in one's own body and identity. What is a transformational period, a coming of age is robbed of its beauty and wholeness and instead becomes a trauma. Many of us never grow past the imprints of this period of our lives, when we felt awkward, out of place, bullied and insecure. We are not supposed to feel this way about ourselves! That's the bottom line! But this is only evidence to show what kind of messages are being fed to us through our many industries and through mass media: that we are not enough.
Then this becomes a phase of rebellion against that rebellion. Of partying in college to escape the mounting pressure of once again, careers and school. But this pressure becomes more real because it's no longer a distant future, it's now. And to evade the responsibility of creation, we blunt. Then when we do graduate, we get jobs where we only look forward to the weekends. Where we again, drink too much and deny the harm we cause in our bodies of having to hold everything in. We forget about our bodies entirely. We forget who we really are. To just.. function to get approval. Because still we're functioning on the idea that we are not enough. So to feel like we are somewhat enough, we need to function well enough. To know that we are enough, to figure out who we really are is too much of a risk. Because that version of us is hidden under feeling not enough. And then we get sick, but we accept it as part of life and take meds for the rest of our lives to "cure" it. We don't realize that just because everyone else is getting sick doesn't mean that we should, too. Our bodies and minds are well adept at healing themselves and when they get sick, they're alerting us to something. We instead deny the messages and we deny the responsibility of healing ourselves and give our power away passively to others to "cure" us.
And then we wear masks for the rest of our lives thinking as long as behave a certain way, do a certain thing, we will get the minimum amount of approval. But the approval never comes from us, does it? It's always from somewhere else and when we really realize the truth that we DON'T NEED OUTSIDE APPROVAL and that what we're seeking is within us, that's when things change.
Why do we get so used to discomfort and illness? Of feeling emptiness, of allowing someone to take our power away from us? Why do we "thrive" in a culture where people are dehumanized and used as tools to advance our careers or goals? Why, when we're young, do we not learn what a real connection is and how to cherish it? Why do people become conquests or image-builders, why do we learn to hurt others from the time we're young so as to not feel our own wounds?
Why is it so accepted and normalized that we drink away our pain? Why is it that we party away our responsibilities and rely on the night time to be seen as a different version of ourselves as if the real us is one we want to forget and hide away in a closet? Why is it an escape from our daily lives, when did living get so hard that we wanted to forget it?
The truth is: that's not the way life is supposed to be. But it's what we've accepted as the base line of reality.