The Secret Handbook 4 Teens

What r u hanging on to and can u let it go?

Here’s a question for you to ponder today: What are you holding on to and what would happen if you let it go?

While this might seem like a simple question it’s actually sort of terrifying if you really spend some time with it. When I think about this question, things like hurts, anxieties and fears are the first things that pop into mind. And so I ask myself, what fears am I hanging on to? Fear that if try something new I might fail so I avoid doing it altogether? Fears about losing someone (because after losing my Dad last fall death is always on my mind)? Fear of change? Geez, actually when I think about it it’s sort of amazing to watch the list evolve.

But let’s talk about what happens when you hold onto something. Eventually, you may hold onto something because it’s true to you. You’ve been hurt by someone and you hold onto that hurt and don’t trust again. You failed at something and you hold onto that fear moving forward and don’t take chances.  Eventually, these things come to define you and they also become comfortable – like a pair of comfy old sneakers that you can’t imagine parting with. But what would happen if you did let it go? What if you realized that those comfy old sneakers are actually pretty stinky and that you can’t run as fast in them anymore (and, God forbid, that they aren’t fashionable anymore!?) You would dump those sneakers and be ordering a new pair in a heartbeat. Well, it’s the same with all the things you’re hanging on to that don’t serve you anymore. What would happen if you let go of your fear and took a chance at something you want in your heart? What would happen if you forgave the person who hurt you and decided to let love in again? Sure it might be uncomfortable, like a new pair of shoes, but before you know it, you’ll break in your new state of being and wonder why you hung on to those old smelly sneakers for so long.

So ask yourself today, what am I holding onto and what would happen if I let it go? Be brave and let it go for a minute or two and just try it on for size. You might discover a new look!


Getting Battered by Waves of Grief & Why I Recommend It

Since my Dad was hospitalized last year he has been slowly failing and now, at 89, is in the final stages of his life. All of the signs that he is dying are there. He sleeps more, he eats less, he is disinterested in life. But yesterday, he seemed to take another slight turn for the worse and the doctor ordered a hospice nurse to come in and start seeing him on a regular basis. While I have never personally had someone in my family be in/with hospice before I certainly know that they can provide great comfort to both the family and the patient and are considered to be angels here on earth. That said, the word “hospice” is sort of that final nail in the coffin (and yes I know that is a really horrible pun but believe me, you find laughter in the strangest moments during this grief process) and as it all started to sink in, my grief became a palpable physical entity last night.

After hearing this news about the hospice nurse from my sister I just sat in a chair with a cup of tea and decided to just experience the grief that was washing over me in waves. I’ve heard people describe grief this way before and have certainly experienced it this way my self a bit but last night I could literally physically feel the emotion battering me around like I was standing in the shallows of the ocean. One minute I was breathing, the next minute I was not as the tears choked my throat closed and the salty water flowed down my cheeks. The next minute I was breathing, thinking that this was all ok, that it was his time, that it was better for him not to suffer and then slowly but surely, I began to sink back into the depths of speechlessness once again and prepared myself to be battered around helplessly again.

In a previous post I have given advice for you guys to “sit” with anger or sadness to help you both learn from it and recover from it and last night, that’s exactly what I did with my own grief. I have to say, well, I am exhausted. Sitting with and really owning and experiencing any emotion takes a lot out of you but at the same time, it’s a good sort of exhausted. It’s like the feeling at the end of a race or run or workout where you’ve pushed yourself to the limits and feel like you’re going to throw up but, at the same time, you feel good about what you accomplished. That’s sorta how I feel today. I feel a little more familiar with my grief. I feel like there is less to fear. That I know I haven’t experienced it at its worst but that I know when I do, I can just lay on my back and not fight it.

I offer you this story to encourage you to not fight the emotions you’re feeling. To tell you that it’s ok to just sit there and feel really sad or really pissed off or really whatever it is you’re feeling. Let it take you over and know that when you emerge, you will be slightly stronger, slightly wiser and slightly more you.

A Poem 2 Make U Think: Sweet Darkness

Sweet Darkness

When your eyes are tired
the world is tired also.

When your vision has gone
no part of the world can find you.

Time to go into the dark
where the night has eyes
to recognize its own.

There you can be sure
you are not beyond love.

The dark will be your womb

The night will give you a horizon
further than you can see.

You must learn one thing.
The world was made to be free in.

Give up all the other worlds
except the one to which you belong.

Sometimes it takes darkness and the sweet
confinement of your aloneness
to learn

anything or anyone
that does not bring you alive

is too small for you.

 — David Whyte


I love the last three lines. They really make you think don’t they? What or who in your life doesn’t bring you alive? If they don’t bring you alive, what is their role? Why do you cling to them? Do you have someone like this in your life? Let’s discuss!