adolescence, awakening, communication, life, teenagers

The Many Meanings of Awakening.

  I love mornings. I love what it feels like to awaken. I love the silence, I love the unique way a morning can allow you to see the untouched beauty all around us before the hustle and bustle begins to stir.  I often talk to my children of the importance of gratitude and how critical it is to have it in our daily lives.  One thought I’ve always tried to bestow upon them is the joy of waking in the morning.  I want them to understand the gift we each have in this awakening.  When we close our eyes at night to end one day we can always go to sleep with the hope of rising again to the morning light.  I ask them… What if there was only darkness?  Do we take it for granted that there is light each day? That the sun rises each day?  These are very simple things that we often look past.  We all complain about the silliest things.  We lose sight of what is really important. 

My husband and I recently came up with a new idea to instill in our home.  In this ever-growing world of technology all of our children have smart phones.  Not an uncommon concern… they are continually plugged-in.  We set up a charging station in our bedroom back in December.  At 10:00pm the kids each bring their phones to our room for the night time hours.  This does a number of things… it allows the four walls in their rooms to literally be walls, as when they are on the internet it allows the whole world to enter their bedrooms.  We feel they sleep better and it is just all around healthier for them.  But I have to say the most important thing that has come from this new practice is the gift of their mornings.  It allows them to awake in the morning with there own thoughts.  It allows them to hear the quiet, hear the birds, feel the stillness.  I believe they had lost touch with what that could feel like, as they would roll over in a state of trance and grab ‘the world’ on the table next to them and begin their day with the thoughts of others.  The news feed of a social media site, a vine, a text message including drama about last night… It just doesn’t allow for any stillness.  I don’t believe this is a punishment, I believe it is a gift.

The dictionary definition of awakening is, as an adjective, ‘coming into existence or awareness’ or as a noun, ‘an act or moment of becoming suddenly aware of something’.   How many of us these days are even ‘aware’ of our surroundings?  How many opportunities are there in a day to have the ‘act or moment of becoming suddenly aware of something’? Do we embrace these moments?

I wonder this as I walk down the street and look into the faces of others.  I remember being a child and always wanting to catch the gaze of another, just to share a smile. I still do that, but as an adult it’s a different feeling I get, I often feel the pain I see in another’s eyes and wish somehow I could change it for them. Other times I see the sincere appreciation for the gift of my smile.  I am fully aware that everyone has a story and that who they are today is a product of something else, something they may have had no control over.  This is why I love teenagers so much and feel they should be nurtured.  As teenager’s they are so resilient, so aware, they see things so clearly.  They often can see what is right and wrong in their worlds and wish to be different from what is wrong.  I have always felt like there is a “window of time” for an adolescent to figure it all out, to get help with what they ponder in their minds, make sense of their emotions, all before entering into the pressures of the real world.  I believe they need to be heard, need to be understood, and be taught strategies for coping.  I also believe they need to be taught to ‘own’ their behaviors, not to blame others for their shortcomings… that they have the power over their own destinies.

The funny thing is people label teens for being confused and uncertain. I actually believe they are very certain. I believe they are often more aware than most of us, the ones I know are.  They are certain of what they feel they will never do as an adult, they know what it feels like to be hurt and swear they would never do that to anyone else.  It then all comes down to adulthood… how will they know how to be true to what they once believed for themselves? What tools do they need to stay strong in their beliefs?  How can we awaken that inner part of us all that just wants to be happy? I truly go throughout my day wishing that others knew that they can control their own happiness… it is to awaken each day and be truly thankful for another day.  Maybe today is the day you talk to someone about your fears and your struggles, talking can lessen our pain. If you don’t have someone to talk to, there are support groups for almost everything out there.  There are so many people struggling.  Begin to see and feel the light of each day, embrace it, awaken to it. Plan to go watch the sun rise tomorrow, teach yourself to feel it’s glory and it’s newness.
Haleakala-Sunrise

I love being awake!!

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