Life is a mystery in all kinds of ways. It’s almost impossible to imagine, in advance, where we’ll land, to whom we’ll connect, to what we’ll be drawn, what we’ll accomplish, or who we’ll ultimately become along the way. There are surely hints and clues about these mysteries, many of which I suspect we often miss as a result of our preoccupation with the noise and minutia that bombard us each day. It’s so very hard to be still, to find the quiet that we need, and to listen. That may be the singularly most important, yet least-practiced task of youth. To complicate things further, the hints and clues seem to be written in unfamiliar code. Rumination about this difficult reality will keep us up at night, inspire anxiety, cause us to eat too much or too little, and distract us from the potential calm that may exist right in front of us, entirely within our reach. It is natural, I suppose, to fear what we can’t yet see with any clarity.
Some who find themselves on this adolescent journey seem to choose and prefer blissful ignorance, a curious path to nowhere. Alternately, however, for those of you who would never choose that doomed route, who yearn for a glimpse of what lies beneath the surface of these developmental mysteries, just beyond the superficial distractions of daily life, who are ready to consider and embrace a well-conceived, enlightened path toward young adulthood, listen up. You might consider this modest proposal:
- find community;
- choose peace;
- quietly search for clarity;
- patiently wait for self discovery;
- boldly select a well-considered direction;
- make it happen,
- and stay the course.
Just to recap:
- Steady as she goes.
- Makes good sense, sounds like good medicine, and begins to offer a measure of relief as we push on those frustrating mysteries of life. And, by the way, it’s actually your duty to push on those frustrating mysteries.
- The only thing more dangerous than taking risks in adolescence is NOT taking them.
Perfect compliance during adolescence almost always turns out badly. There seems to be no future in it. So here’s the happy promise once again, reconstituted for useful emphasis:
The answers and solutions about self that may have mysteriously eluded us for months and years are completely available to us; they emerge in the context of loving community when we take a deep breath, accept our reality, release our faltering grip on things we never could really control, allow caring and helpful relationship to grow, make good use of our resources, let go of the outcome, and trust the universe to do its magic on our behalf. Acceptance, relationship, and trust; sound familiar?