New Day Herald

Teen Insight: Making a Difference One Teen at a Time

Article imageSo many nights I would lie in bed wondering what I could possibly do to bring more peace into my family. Here I was a minister and initiate and one who had been studying the Traveler’s teachings for many years and yet my boys would express such anger and animosity at one another and say such horrible things to each other. In between the judgments (“Where did I go wrong?”) and the statements of forgiveness (“I forgive myself for judging myself as a bad mother…”), I heard myself genuinely praying for greater peace and understanding in my family.
Last week my prayers were answered more than I could have imagined. My 13 year old son, Jeff, attended Teen Insight II and my 16 year old son, Sean, assisted in the training. On the evening of the 5th day of the training, I, along with many other parents, friends, and family, attended a graduation ceremony to honor these teens. I hadn’t seen either of my boys since the training began.
As I walked into the room I was greeted by a circle of 39 teen graduates facing out, eyes closed. The loving presence was so strong, I was immediately moved to tears. In the dark I searched each face and finally located Jeff. The Lights went on and the teens opened their eyes. My son looked transformed. The beauty, clarity, peace on his face was amazing. Jeff was standing forward in his beingness in a way that I had never before witnessed with him.
After spending several minutes with Jeff, giving him flowers, etc., I felt an arm grab me from behind. I turned around and there was Sean. He just hugged me and sobbed in my arms. I, too, was sobbing. What a profound experience that was for me! Here was my 6′ 1″, 16-year-old son (who, over the past several years, has been very clear about his need to separate from me and create his own life) just bawling in my arms. Through his experience of assisting on this Teen II seminar, his heart blew wide open. And he stood in the gentle strength of a great big loving heart.
And yes, he also grabbed his dad and just hugged him and held him close. Considering the degree of separation that had been present in their relationship, this is nothing short of a miracle. Then he grabbed Jeff and they hugged. And, since that time, they have hugged a number of times. Jeff has reminded me more than once since the training how he and Sean have healed their relationship. I can’t remember a time (since the boys were toddlers) that they have hugged or appreciated each other like this.
So much healing. So many blessings. Sure, old patterns rear their heads. Since the training there have been many opportunities for Sean and Jeff to get into old disagreements and separations. But what I continue to witness with both of them is more respect for one another and a greater willingness to be accountable for their own limitations. Hallelujah!!
I had the privilege of driving back home to Ojai with a dear friend, David Bransky (one of the two facilitators in this Teen Insight II). We were sharing about Teen Insight, and David made a statement that really spoke to the truth of my heart. He said, “It seems to me that Teen Insight has the potential to make a profound impact in preparing this next generation (for that which they need to be prepared) like nothing else could. Why isn’t Teen Insight out there in a much bigger way offering this next generation and our society the gift it has to offer?”
I am so very grateful that my boys were able to receive of this gift. I, too, share this vision, and I join with David in his question. Perhaps if enough of us share the vision and are willing to place our bodies and our financial resources on the line to make it a reality, Teen Insight will play a profound role in preparing this next generation to be the leaders of tomorrow.
I thank God for Teen Insight, in which my boys are taking ownership of their lives and choices and gifts, healing painful memories, and standing in the light of who they are. And I pray to God that parents, volunteers, “angels” and sponsors continue to come forward so that Teen Insight will flourish and many, many more teens and their families will be able to partake of this gift.

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