∴ Hello there, Lovelies ∴
Your age has a lot to do with how people treat you in your everyday, normal life. We all realize this. Children, teens, young adults, the elderly… we simply don’t treat all ages the same way, and this can be normal. But what is interesting is that…
Your age has a lot to do with your spirituality.
The way you experience spirituality, the way you are expected to experience spirituality, and even how you are treated when you try to join spiritual communities will be affected by your age.
This week, we begin by talking about…
Ages 13-19, when you are in middle and high school and arguably going through the most intense changes that you will ever go through in life ~ physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, socially…
When you’re a child, people listen with rapt attention to anything spiritual you might have to say.
I don’t know why–call it the “and a child will lead them” syndrome. Kids are welcomed with awe when spirituality comes from their Hi-C fruit-punch stained lips 😊 The spiritual topics, naturally, revolve around what they have been taught so far, which only garners further admiration from proud parents.
You might have spoken such spiritual words before, with an attentive audience.
But by your teens, the routine isn’t cute anymore.
Now everyone thinks you’re coming across as pious. You even overhear your mother say “She’s at that age when she thinks she knows everything.” You’re encouraged to continue whatever religion you have been brought up in, and focus on your school grades instead.
Of course, many people have very conscientious parents, who encourage their child no matter what spirituality they have chosen. But it’s no secret what society as a whole tends to think of teenagers. Know-it-alls. Hormonal. Dramatic. You get the picture.
This may affect your spirituality greatly as you try to find “your tribe” ~ that special spiritual community that is on the same wavelength as you are.
I’ve left a few Pagan/NewAge communities online, absolutely appalled at the way teenagers were treated. I’ve seen them called n00bs in a derogatory way. I’ve seen their creative and innovative ideas crushed under the foot of “that’s not how we do that.” And I’ve seen them called fluffy bunnies constantly. But, I assure you…
You are not a fluffy bunny.
You are not a fluffy bunny. You are on your own learning stage, as we all are. Your age has nothing to do with it. We all come into New Age practices at different times in our lives, which means we are all on our unique learning chapter.
But what if you are new? Doesn’t matter. It does not automatically mean that your practice is fluff.
Parts of it may be, and that is okay! No one is born knowing everything about spirituality ~ otherwise, many more of us would be walking around enlightened. We all have a learning curve that we must go through, with specific key experiences that inspire spiritual insight within us.
Your philosophies, your spiritual ideas, and your practice ~ they are all valid.
Anyone who dismisses your spiritual practice simply because you are a teen is partaking in ageism. Yes, it happens so often that they actually had to come up with a word for it. So, what can you do?
When searching for an online community, make sure that:
- Teens and those new to the spirituality are treated with respect.
- This means no name-calling or rudeness, but it also means that your ideas are heard, and you feel comfortable to express and explore your point of view with others.
- Any online community that deviates from respect will only distract you with lengthy internet-fights.
- When someone gets something wrong, such as a historical fact, that the community corrects them in a non-degrading manner.
- We all get things wrong from time to time, it shouldn’t be a big deal.
- We also all make mistakes from time to time. No. Big. Deal.
- The community is supportive and nurtures your ideas.
- I’ve had wonderful spiritual breakthroughs in my teens, which started as a simple idea. I’ve also had ideas go absolutely nowhere at all. But you should always be encouraged to follow your own ideas until you reach your own conclusions.
- Having your own ideas is the biggest difference between learning by rote, and learning by inner spiritual inquiry.
Here are my Tips for making the most out of your spirituality in your teens:
1. Take your time. It’s okay that you know some things, but not others. Just because you’re young, it doesn’t mean you’re stupid. Okay, so you haven’t had the joy of filing your taxes or planning your 401k. It doesn’t mean you do not have a spiritual mind.
2. Avoid online communities that engage in lengthy internet fights of who’s right and who’s wrong. You won’t learn anything, you’ll be filled with negativity, and it’s just a waste of time.
3. Know, truly know, that your spiritual searching is valid and that it is totally okay to be at the beginning of your journey.
4. Your practice may be new, your practice may be simple, your practice may be just starting ~ that doesn’t mean that your practice is fluff.
5. Your main concerns are different than adults’. Finding a spell to relieve acne may be more important to you than a spell for a decent interest rate on a mortgage. Don’t let anyone tell you your concerns are inconsequential. They are merely different than adults’. It is okay if your main worries are peer pressure, SATs, and acing your driver’s test.
6. Enjoy the journey! I’m not going to say your teens are the best time in your life, but they are by far the most unique time. Your life is changing, every day, in every possible way imaginable. You will never again feel the way you do now.
I’m serious! Sure, I felt different in my 20’s than I do now in my 30’s. But my 20’s and 30’s simply don’t compare to the bittersweet chaos and newness of my teens. Very little is actually new in my 30’s (especially in movies: this twist ending again??) But just about everything is new in your teens. Enjoy!
And 6. Most of all…
Be open-minded when someone corrects you, but don’t immediately assume that you are wrong.
As you meet more New Age practitioners of all ages, you’ll soon see that we all have our own way of doing things (unless the person is committed to a coven or traditional sect). So keep an open mind with those who engage with you respectfully.
You can always Google the information you have been given to see if there’s any merit to it. The worst that can happen is that you are wrong, and you learn something new. That’s part of the journey.
I wish you the best on the wonderful spiritual path that lies ahead of you!
New to New Age? Learn more about Wicca, Paganism, and Iridescent Spirituality on my YouTube channel at MoodyThursday.
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