Sometimes, I work with youth at risk. Sometimes, I laugh at that label while I wonder what youth on Earth isn’t at risk?
I recently attended a training that reminded me that I need to meet the adolescents where they are at without projecting my world view upon them in attempt to manipulate change. This is all fine and good, but where are these youth at so that I may meet them? And more importantly, what personal biases stand in my way of greeting them.
In one of our meetings the main program developer reminded us that these youth will always revert to what is familiar when their structure is threatened. In these cases that familiarity is crisis, chaos and fear. This means that everything can be going perfectly with your program and the moment that the shit hits the proverbial fan in any way, the youth revert to what is familiar. Crisis, chaos and fear.
Most of these kids are kind and want to participate but because all that they have known is crisis, chaos and fear, they will react from that place when change occurs or security is threatened. This is really simple to see but the response to it is the challenge because sometimes they just seem like mean sociopaths.
The challenge for the mentor is to be the opposite of that familiarity. If crisis is the environmental norm from their upbringing, then you must be the calm and secure. If chaos is the familiar habitat, then you must represent order in the form of consistency. If fear is what they are imprinted with, then you must be love in the form of support and encouragement. And you must be consistent in all of these, all of the time. That is your challenge as a mentor!
What does this have to do with those of you who don’t work with adolescents at risk?
The world we occupy is an adolescent at risk. We have to meet the world where it is at and release our attempts at controlling it or enforce change. Let the world be what it is and you take care of being the opposite of that. The world is conditioned through crisis, chaos and fear. That is our pop-media that beams our collective 3rd eye day in and day out.
We have a choice; become the crisis, chaos and fear or become the calm, ordered, consistent love that encourages and supports. I choose this for myself and for others. I recognize that when I am confronted with a financial challenge, my bias is to panic because this is what I was conditioned to do. Now, I breathe, stay calm and meet it with love. At first, it didn’t work but now I am developing a new conditioning.
My own personal revelation in this is that I have for years tried to mold or manipulate the world into what I thought it should, could or world be and I was so frustrated in this action. The reality was that I never felt complete because I was projecting incompletion onto the world. The world is crisis, chaos and fear. I must accept the world for where it is and be the calm, consistent love. Sometimes this is simple. Sometimes, I have a challenge on my hands. It is becoming easier though.
If you believe that you are exempt from this truth, then you are deluded.
The social engineers know very well about Ocular and Associative conditioning on our Autonomic Nervous System, we would all be wise to wake up to this but most of us our just comfortable accepting our habitual bias as fact. It is not, of this I assure you.
Our self-image is created 100% by what we accept to believe about ourselves and the world is what it is. In fact, the reality is neutral and we charge it with our account. So to speak.