Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Are you listening...really?

How often do you take what you hear at face value, excepting it for truth? Do you find yourself perhaps doing a little reading between the lines? Before you answer consider if you are actively listening, fully in the moment; or are you distracted your mind wandering in numerous other directions?

Being an active listener is something that most of us have to learn. Our minds are so cluttered with the business of daily living that we are often times not completely “tuned in” when others are speaking to us. This is especially true with our youth, when they want to talk, you need to be listening. You need to be fully engaged at that very moment. It’s not just about what is being said, but how it is being said; are they looking you in the eyes when they are speaking? What is their body language telling you? Are you only being feed that which they think you want to hear? Are their important missing pieces that need to be flushed out? Yea, I know so much for parents to consider. Can’t we just have a normal conversation with our teens, one in which we just talk. Sometimes yes, absolutely – other times the consequences of what appears to be a simple conversation could result in something more serious. That is why regardless you need to give them your complete undivided attention.

When young people become involved with drugs/alcohol on any level of consumption it’s a deal changer. I have heard many parents (more than I care to think about) be very unconcerned when their teens are “experimenting with drugs/alcohol”. Experimenting are you kidding me??? Do you know how many experiments turn out badly, even deadly? We are not talking about a controlled environment here. Their experimentation is not controlled in any way. There isn’t anyone standing by their side in case it blows up. If you are minimizing their use of pot or alcohol or whatever it is then shame on you! Seriously, why would you do that in the first place? Is it because ‘hey I did it and I turned out okay”, or maybe you don’t consider it enough of a threat to their life at this point to be worried about it. Well, your wakeup call is here folks! It’s your responsibility as a parent to let them know how unacceptable their behavior is and to do everything you can to contain it and curtail it. Knowledge is power, but only if it is put into action.

If your child is involved in the drug/alcohol culture already then be prepared to be lied to, over and over again. You think not? Ahh, you would be wrong. That’s where you need to be listening, really listening. Watching… their friends (have they changed recently); their personal habits; their family involvement or lack thereof; their grades; their overall attitude. Ok, so you’re thinking that seems like a great deal of extra work, hmmmm shouldn’t you be doing that anyway? Don’t get me wrong, I remember missing very important details when my daughter was in the throes of drug use. We all do the best we can, but do it! It’s that important. Every moment is a teachable moment… use each one you get and live what you teach. They are certainly watching you.

Pray for our youth… everywhere… everyday!

God Bless!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Chains and prison

My heart cries out to the Lord what I can do to help these precious children see that their addiction is leading them to an early grave. The tears I have shed and will continue to shed go uncounted. Each and every day I am on my knees in prayer for these lost young ones who can’t seem to break the chains of their addictions. It’s not that I don’t understand why they can’t because I do get it. The majority of folks out there feel as if the road to narcotic addition recovery should be a fairly or moderately easy road to travel. All you have to do is just say no and stay away from those that say yes. As our young ones say on Facebook Pfffff… ahhh no it’s nowhere near that simple. As a matter of fact addicts live within their own private prison, chained to a need both physically and emotionally and their soul bleeds and cries out please make it stop.

Most of us can’t even begin to imagine a need so ferrous that we will did whatever it takes to fulfill that need. It’s nothing personal but addicts will steal from their own loved ones, prostitute themselves and rob a stranger blind in order to stop the pain of withdrawal or revisit the high they need in order to function. It is such a heartbreaking situation. In their eyes they have no choice, it really isn’t about hurting those they love, it’s all about taming this horrendous monster that lives inside of them. All too often the more times they try and fail to find recovery, the more they perceive themselves as failures unworthy of ever having a happy, sober life.

When addiction begins early in life, say the teenage years there is a different dynamic involved then when addiction begins in the adult stage of life. Adult’s addicts should for all intents and purposes have acquired a descent set of coping skills. These young ones lack those skills on a monumental level. This issue in and of itself makes recovery more of a challenge. I see it time and time again, these broken children in pieces trying to figure out how to become whole again, only to find they are clueless on how to make it a reality. Intellectually they know how, but there is a huge gap between the knowledge of how to get sober and the ability to put that knowledge into action. Ahhh, there’s the rub folks, knowledge into action…

How I wish I had the answers, sadly I do not. So I just keep praying and loving…