Periodically, I participate in a Writer’s Workshop hosted by Mama Kat! One of this week’s prompts is: Locked out.
Here are my thoughts this week:
I remember doing a whole lot of things as a teenager even into early adult hood that I really didn’t even like to do. Until very recently, my true self was “locked out”.
At the tender age of 7, my youngest daughter can tell you exactly what is bothering her! I call my oldest the “idea sphere”, she is ALWAYS thinking up some fabulous plan. One day she is painting, the next day she is dancing, yesterday she was leaf collecting. My tween daughters are inquisitive and can carry on very intriguing conversations.
In stark contrast, the teen girls I work with at church are guarded, sometimes aloof and very hard to engage. Most of them are so busy trying to fit in and navigate relationships that they are “locked out” about how they really feel. Cultural pressures and friends tell them how they should look, what they should think and how they should feel.
I found a very interesting quote in a book I am reading called Reviving Ophelia by Mary Pipher:
“Girls stop being and start seeming. Girls become “female impersonators” who fit their whole selves into small, crowded spaces. Adolescence is when girls experience social pressure to put aside their authentic selves and to display only a small portion of their gifts. Vibrant, confident girls become shy, doubting young women. Girls stop thinking, “Who am I? What do I want?” and start thinking, “What must I do to please others”.
Anthropologist Margaret Mead pinned the term PMZ-Post Menopause Zest. PMZ is a period of time when the menses cease and women regain their preadolescent authenticity. Mead says this sense of self develops because they are no longer viewed as beauty objects occupied with caring for others and are free to be come self-directed and energetic.
Lord willing, there will be a long time between the onset of menses and PMZ for my daughters!! I sure don’t want them to stay “locked out” for 30 years!
My plan is to love my girls and give them reasonable room to grow. However, responsibilities, expectations, and boundaries will be norm. Most importantly, I am learning WITH them to go to the “quiet place” and cast my cares upon the One who CAN really do something about my situation.
2 Corinthians 4:8-9, 16-18 (CEV)
We often suffer, but we are never crushed. Even when we don’t know what to do, we never give up. 9In times of trouble, God is with us, and when we are knocked down, we get up again.
16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.
I am so lucky to be able to “practice” having teen daughters with the girls in my group. I am in a very unique position since I am an adult but NOT the parent. A few of them actually listen to what I have to say! I can only pray that the work God is allowing me to do in their lives is helping to unlock the doors of their inner selves.
Were you ever “locked out” as a teen? If so, when did you find the keys to your true self?