Vital Information that Helps our Children

Our youth today are facing a wide range of challenges: everyday mood swings, feelings of anxiety, stress and pressure, self-esteem and identity struggles, being pulled by the power of social media and the desire to fit in.

At times we all care what other people think of us, feel insecure and blame life, school, family or friends for why we feel so bad, regardless of age. This is normal, but it is also takes away our power.

There is a vital piece of information that our children don’t know (and we may also not know it).

We may know we think a lot. We may know our thinking has something to do with how we feel. We probably even know that thinking positively is helpful.

What we don’t always realize is that thinking is the ONLY thing that makes us feel what we feel. Not only does our thinking create our experience, but more than that, it creates circumstances and brings people into our lives that strengthen our already held beliefs about ourselves and about life.

The reason it’s so important to know this is because if we don’t, we end up living in a self-fulfilling prophecy that life isn’t fair, I shouldn’t be this way or it’s your fault. We then find all the evidence we need to prove our point. (I bet we all have at least one child we know will be a lawyer)

It seems life isn’t fair because I didn’t get into the school of my choice or I got detention or I was ditched by my friends. See, all these things happened so how could you say it’s my thinking?

It seems I shouldn’t be fat or angry or impatient, yet look at me, I’m overweight, I yell at my family all day long and I’m always in a rush, so how can you say it’s my thinking?

It seems it’s your fault because you never let me do anything, now I have no friends or will fail my test because I had no one to study with or I’m late to practice/school/davening because of you. How can you say it’s my thinking?

In all of these examples it doesn’t look like thought had anything to do with it.

However, thought is the answer for all of our feelings. If I believe life is unfair, I will see unfair everywhere. If I believe I should be different, I will find every fault as if peering under a microscope. If I believe it’s your fault, there will be many opportunities for me to blame you for what you did.

So what’s the answer? Change our thinking?

Well the first step is awareness. Waking up to the power of thought and seeing how we create our own experiences from the inside out.
Once I start looking inside, I get my power back. Victim thinking and blame disempower us (leaving us vulnerable) and perpetuate the cycle of seeing life through those glasses and believing it’s true.

Taking responsibility for your feelings is actually the key to freedom. Insightfully seeing that our thinking brings our experiences alive in multi-color, surround sound quality is the answer. But for my thinking, I can’t feel unfair, insecure or victimized.

The good news is that thought changes on its own when we understand the design of the system. We don’t have to work so hard at trying to control, manipulate or manage our thinking. We just want to understand that the thought/feeling connection exists 100% of the time.

This understanding is the vital piece of information that will help our children (and us) be resilient, flexible and secure.

I invite you to help me share this vital information with you and your children by organizing groups where we can explore these ideas and make them practical. Reach out if your interested in helping strengthen resilience in our youth.

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Ride The Wave

By Aviva Barnett, MSW



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