Impressing your (former) teenage self.

One of the joys of growing older is blowing the mind of your inner teenager.  Society loves to distract you by focusing on the “negatives” of aging.  Well I call bullshit!  You have worked hard over the years to become the person you are!  Don’t let yourself become distracted.  Celebrate your accomplishments.

If you’ve been a tad brain washed over the years and can’t remember why your current age is working for you, think back to your teenage years.  Do you remember feeling total humiliation by everything and everyone?  You were convinced that pimple on the tip of your nose was going to be all anyone would EVER be able to talk about, forever and ever. We all forgot about your pimple.  Do you remember not being able to talk to your crush without turning purple with embarrassment?  My guess is you’ve since managed to hold a conversation with someone you’ve “crushed on” since then.  You might even be married to them!  (And yes, hormones did have an influence on all these things, but they were not the only factor.)

I encourage you to go back to those moments in time, because it will allow you to see your growth and your strength.  You are with yourself all day, every day, so it’s hard to see the trajectory of your inner growth the way that others can.  And often you may still feel like the insecure teenager that you were.  But guess what?  You’ve evolved.  I promise you.  And this deserves to be acknowledged and celebrated.  It can also give you that push you need to get through the next challenge in life.  Because in the words of Glennon Doyle Melton, “We can do hard things.”  Adulthood has given us proof that we can get through hard times.  The proof is in our past.  As a teenager your past is limited.  You are “learning from experience” for the very first time.  As adults we have a plethora of memories to guide and direct us.

This doesn’t mean your inner teenager has left you.  You may still be triggered by the very things that hurt you way back then.  In fact, if those hurts have been pushed down for too long, they will inevitably resurface, and that’s ok.  Because now as an adult, you have the tools (or access to the tools) to handle this.  You can look at your pimply wounded teenage self with love, not hate.  You can hold space for yourself to work through the pain instead of beating yourself up for feeling emotions.

As adults we also know that we have the power to choose our thoughts.  I was reminded of this the other night.  I was having a hard time sleeping and then decided I would try to work through a problem I was having.  As the minutes passed I could feel myself getting more and more anxious and therefore less sleepy.  And then I suddenly had a thought; almost every time I’ve attempted to work something out at 2 a.m., it’s been a bad call.  I don’t think clearly that late.  Never have (thanks past memories for giving me a hand there).  So I consciously made a decision that I wasn’t going to “go there” in my mind for the rest of the night.  It wasn’t going to be productive or serve me.  Morning came, and guess what?  I was clearer, and less anxious when attempting to solve the problem.

So this week high five yourself when you notice your inner growth.  Be on the lookout for it.  It’s there, believe me!

Take care of YOU.

 

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