Dr. Rich Patterson                                                                                         

Blog post 03.21.18

Why Does Being  A Teenager Seem so Difficult?

The different stages we go through in life continue throughout our life, as we are always growing and changing, physically, mentally, spiritually, and social-emotionally. So it may seem there must be an arrival point, but in reality, there is not; we are always moving and adapting. An effectively lived life is a lot like a cloud. Think of a nice summer day, with a clear blue sky and nice white cumulus clouds floating¬†in the beautiful sky. If you lie on your back outside, in the soft grass, and look up at the clouds, you see how they are always moving, changing, adjusting, combining, merging, and separating, yet staying together somehow. It is helpful to think of your life like the clouds. You never hear the clouds complaining about having to sit beside someone they do not like, or crying out, ‚ÄúI don‚Äôt want to merge with that ugly cloud; I want to be by myself.‚ÄĚ But in the sometimes harsh realities of life, it doesn‚Äôt seem like it works that way when we are in the middle of things. However, we are always sensing and adjusting to the various situations we encounter as we move through our day, throughout our developmental periods, which continue all through our life.

This feedback can be information you observe about your environment‚ÄĒschool, home life, family, parents, step¬≠parents, grandparents, or foster parents, or it can be in the form of feedback, information, or criticism you receive from adult sources, such as family, school, friends‚ÄĒthings you notice repeating on a consistent basis. For example, if your friends notice that you tend to kid around and joke in a man¬≠ner that makes them angry, then the feedback for you might be that this is something you need to improve about your¬≠self. Another area of consideration is relationships. Some in¬≠dividuals seem to have solid, healthy relationships, created easily. Some must work at relationships, and others would rather avoid them as much as possible. Which description fits your lifestyle and personality? We can ask ourselves if we need better skills in this area or if we have a pretty good balance that fits who we are now. Realize that we all change as we live our lives. This is an important point, because if we are not more like the clouds, we will surely find life very difficult. We‚Äôre not always exactly like we are right now; in fact, by reading this guidebook you‚Äôre changing your thoughts,¬†outlook, and disposition. Working with relationships can be one of the most difficult aspects of life, and for many of us, families raise that difficulty so much that we require supreme levels of self-control sometimes. I always say, ‚ÄúFamilies are the most difficult aspect of life that God gave us.‚ÄĚ I am a faith-based person, so when I use God, you may substitute¬†supreme¬†being, nature spirits, angels, whomever you like to draw strength from. It may even be a color, like indigo, which is one of my favorites; when I close my eyes I often see an indigo background.

How can you use these concepts of the clouds and supreme being in your life right now?

How can they give you strength?

How can they help you when you are very frustrated and overwhelmed?

Rich Patterson, Ph.D.