Our Kids Are Not Alright!

This week, another one of my daughter’s classmates committed suicide. This young woman is the fifth in a graduating class of 200-some students to commit suicide.  Something here is wrong.  Very wrong.

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I want to begin by presenting what is NOT wrong. The problem is not the school(s).  Oshkosh schools are some of the best in the nation and while our governor keeps whittling away at our budget and other resources that support quality education, our schools have risen above the chaos and are providing the best possible education with the few resources that are left.  In addition, Oshkosh North, the school my children attend, offers a wide range of programs and services to help support their diverse population, many of which have been funded through grants and private donations. The community, teachers, staff and administration have advocated for our students beyond what the budgets would normally provide.

As a subparagraph of the problem not being the school – the problem is not bullying, neither is it a lack of support or counseling services for troubled students. The local schools have an extremely stringent anti-bullying policy and all ranges of diversity are not only honored, but advocated for.  Every school has counselors and social workers on staff who are there to support and advocate on students’ behalf.  The problem is not lack of support.

The problem is not a lack of suicide or mental illness awareness or support. While this may have been somewhat the case with the first two suicides, since that time, efforts, resources, advocacy has been RAMPED UP to educate parents, students, and the community on the challenges of mental illness and the signs of a child or adult in distress.  In addition, there are trained professionals in the community who work specifically to educate the public and to support families on suicide and to support families with a child or adult who is at-risk and to support families who have experienced a death due to suicide.

Finally, the problem is not the parents. I know the parents of some of these children and I can tell you, beyond the shadow of a doubt, these parents have done absolutely everything they could for their children.  They loved them.  They did the best they could to keep their children safe.  They got their children help when help was needed.  They got help for themselves when they were at a loss over how to further help their child.

The problem is not the schools, peers, the lack of mental illness awareness, or the parents.

The problem, and the reason our kids are not alright is:       Our world.

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Our world is a mess. Our world is a mess for all of us – and for some of us, it is just too much to bear.  Let’s look at the facts:

  1. For as long as our children have been alive, THE WORLD HAS BEEN AT WAR.

If it’s not a conflict or a war with a name, (Desert Storm, Iraqi, Afghanistan, Israel and Palestine, etc. etc. etc.) it is “the war on terrorism.” And the worst of all the terrorist attacks have been accomplished right here on our own soil by our own U.S. citizens.  The media does not help in this regard by triggering our fears through sensationalism.  As my son said, “Hundreds of people a year are shot in Chicago and no one cares, but as soon as one guy gets shot in Oshkosh, the whole world is in a state of panic.”  (This also points to media and racial bias which is a topic for another blog another day.)

For our children – the world does not feel safe.

  1. In the U.S. success is determined by external measurements like money, status, power and fame. And some of these measurements are literal – how much money you make, how many time you are Tweeted or your Facebook post gets “liked,” if you have your own reality show or not, and do you measure up to the current standards of “beauty.” For those who do not know their true selves and who have no way of knowing themselves except in comparison to others, success feels like an impossible goal – especially when they look at the TRUTH of our economic situation – which brings me to #3
  2. Education does not mean what it used to. In the old days, a high school education was enough to prepare you for a regular job with a decent rate of pay. Then, college became the necessary gateway to a career, a paycheck and economic security. Then, a master’s degree became the gateway, then a PhD. Now….none of this really matters – and our children know this. A college degree guarantees you nothing, or as a friend of mine told her daughter, “Do what you love because there won’t be any jobs for you after college anyway.” Bleak, but true. As much as politicians are touting the economic recovery and that the “recession is over,” this is not the truth.
  3. The world as we know it is dying. Our children know this and they know that they will be the ones who will be creating the new world. For some, this is just too overwhelming a task. Imagine, for a moment, that you are a player in the Hunger Games and the entire world (as you have known it) crumbles at your feet and you are left with the task of building the new world. While the endless possibilities and the excitement of building something new is enticing for some, for others, it is overwhelming and feels impossible and they shut down under the burden of the task.
  4. And finally….this is the whoo whoo part…..our children are empaths. What this means is that not only are they feeling their own anxiety in the face of a world that is a mess, they are feeling EVERYONE ELSE’S anxiety. They feel the anxiety of their parents, their siblings, their classmates, their teachers, and the entire world around them. When there is a terrorist attack on the other side of the world, they feel it – maybe not consciously, but they feel it. When a weather system is moving through that will cause people anxiety, they know it – again, maybe not consciously, but they feel it. For those that don’t understand the gift of empathy and who don’t have tools for managing this gift, the emotions come out sideways – temper tantrums, disproportionate negative behavior, anxiety, depression – and you guessed it, suicide.

Which brings me full-circle. I don’t know what caused that young woman to jump off the bridge into a freezing and raging river to her death.  What I do know is that her death should not be in vain.  Her death should be another wake up call for us as parents, teachers, and other adults.

Our children are not alright!

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Our children need our help. While we cannot change the outside world, there are things we can do to help our children, and in helping them, find help for ourselves in a messy and broken down world:

  1. Lead them to resources to help them manage anxiety. Resources that have been proven to help manage anxiety include: meditation, mindfulness, regular exercise, a healthy diet, adequate and deep sleep, creativity exercises, being in nature, being with others in healthy community interactions.
  2. Support them in knowing their TRUE selves. Self-knowledge increases self-esteem, confidence, and the ability to be ok with our differences in a world of great diversity, and to weather the storm of other people’s judgements.
  3. Help them develop a different set of values. This starts with us. We need to stop valuing ourselves in terms of money, fame, status, power, and physical characteristics. What we are wearing, whose bag we are carrying and what car we are driving DOES NOT MATTER. These external measurements of “success” or “popularity” do not give us happiness. In fact, all they do is create more ANXIETY. If we want our children to be comfortable in a world that will NOT have the resources in which everyone can be a Kardashian, we have to help them find value in the internals – peace, contentment, joy, and fulfillment in knowing and exercising their gifts. We then need to give them tools for finding this inner peace which leads us back to items 1 and 2.
  4. Support them in their dreams. Our children see and know the new world. They see a world that is free from the separation with which we have defined the world. Instead of separation, they see only oneness. They do not comprehend the separation we keep placing between ourselves and others we view as different from us and they definitely do not comprehend the violence that arises out of these perceived separations. Our children do not see race, religion, sexual orientation, or even gender as barriers, they only see this as the miraculous and amazing diversity among human beings and they seek to know more and to honor these differences. Let’s get out of the way and let them do this, shall we!?
  5. Teach them what to do with Empathy.  Empaths are healers and those with this gift (all of our children) possess this gift because they are here to heal our dying world so that a healthier and happy world can emerge. Our children need to know what to do with these feelings and how to stop taking responsibility for everyone else’s pain. Interestingly, this also brings us back to items 1 and 2.

While we cannot change the world, we can change the world in which we are living and the journey starts within. Let us join together to help our children, and in helping our children, helping ourselves so that we can survive in a world in the midst of change and through our children’s dreams, help to support the birth of a new and better world. Then perhaps these children would not have died in vain.

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Authentic Freedom Academy provides empowerment training for those who want to change their world, which starts by changing the world within.

 

About Your Spiritual Truth

I am a trained, professional Spiritual Director, Author and Hands-on Healer. I offer services, programs and classes that empower you to hear the voice of the Divine that speaks from within you. It is the voice of the Divine that leads us to our highest truth, to the discovery and cultivation of our gifts and to a life of Authentic Freedom where we know contentment, compassion and joy. Your truth will set you free!
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9 Responses to Our Kids Are Not Alright!

  1. Paula Hayford says:

    Lauri,

    Once again you have shared your wisdom and insight that speaks to our universe. I am so privileged to have you as my friend and mentor. May the Gods be with you!

    Paula

  2. Kimberly says:

    Hi Lauri,
    First of all, I just love you to pieces and have such respect & admiration for you and all you’re doing, as well such inspiration.
    I feel a connection to you on so many levels, even though we haven’t seemed to connect on TWYH. I can relate to so many things you have gone through and have astrological markings for the Freedom Ray (either part of the Jeshua/Magdalene bloodline or there with them). So, I’m so interested in your work.
    Furthermore, I feel such an intense drawing to getting involved with the youth, who are empaths, crystal/rainbow/etc. children. It’s a dream of mine to have people like us have a place to spread awareness and open up to those who are so affected by the world, to help them realize why they are here and the immense gifts they have to offer, as well as hope and connection to the Love that is all around us (despite what we’re led to believe by the media and those pulling all the stops for control).
    On the topic of suicides particularly, I have several ideas, from experience and others I’ve known”
    – When children are given “counseling”, this can easily lead to them being medicated. This is horrific in itself, because of how the FDA gets paid to rush drugs through for Big Pharma, and mainstream medical doctors are only taught to give these drugs, often paid to do so (and even not paid for their patient visits if they do NOT prescribe prescription medicatons). Even on the show, “The Doctors” years ago, they had a pediatric doctor on there who admitted he was not paid for the patient visit unless he gave prescriptions.
    – Of course, these prescriptions have been rushed through the FDA and have caused all kinds of death, suicide, killing, etc. Every single commercial break has an ad for some new medication that lists death as a “side effect”. And of course also in that commercial break are ads from lawyers seeking money from people who’ve been harmed by these drugs and botched medical procedures via lawsuits. It’s like living in an episode of the Twilight Zone. We cannot allow this to go on.
    – Also, these drugs are not tested on children, and children’s brains and bodies are changing. This is one reason there is now a “black box warning” on antidepressants, saying they can lead to suicide, etc. in children and young adults.
    – I also have personal experience with this. I was in early 20’s and kept getting respiratory infections after not getting sick since having my tonsils removed at age 5 (from sudden fevers to 106 and being packed in ice several times). So, I wanted to find out why I was suddenly getting sick repeatedly, and doctors kept handing me antibiotics. So I would go to other doctors to try to find the cause. It was later found out that I’d developed allergies when moving to Cincinnati to work for P&G (and people moving to work there from all over the world often developed allergies). However, no one checked for this. I was recently married at the time and having to miss work (although as a Type A, I’d always make up work and was promoted earlier than anyone. I’m only saying this because my husband either called me lazy when I was too ill to work or accused me of having an affair when I was working my butt off). So, I was getting depressed about this, but it was the effect of the illness & not the cause. However, a new family doctor, who’d only met me 2 minutes said I was depressed and that was the cause. So he gave me Prozac. This led to major mood swings, actual personality change, and affecting decision making. So I went to a psychiatrist to have it monitored. He asked how I felt on a scale of 1-10, & I felt pretty good that day, about a 7. He said we could do better and INCREASED the dose. Well, this drug has been compared to cocaine (not that I would know, because I refused to do illegal drugs because my best friend’s brother died at 18 from them when we were younger; how ironic I’d end up having such problems with “legal drugs”. And yes, they are DRUGS. Anyway, it affected decision making such that I would do things impulsively, not like anything I would ever normally do. So when my husband accused me of having an affair repeatedly, I said, “fine, then I will!”. So I did then crashed and told him about it. He told me he hoped I’d kill myself. And of course that was another impulsive thing I would never do (believe me, I’ve been through 20 years of pain, 8 years of it purely torturous, and if I am so against suicide that I would never do so). Anyway, sure enough, I had a suicide attempt. Luckily I was found and my stomach pumped. But I KNEW that it was the drug that was doing all that to me. So, I just stopped taking it. And this was 21 years ago, before the “black box warning”, and when doctors swore it could not cause such a thing. It had caused full-blown symptoms of Bipolar (which I’ve never had while not taking the drug). Of course after stopping the drug, about 2-3 weeks later, it was like I was suddenly struck by lightning and set on fire, and this horrific pain would not go away. I had to take the drug again just to be able to work, and then had to try to find another drug to balance out the effects of that one. (I apologize for going on about this with so much detail, but these are things to watch out for in another’s behavior if one’s not sure they’ve been medicated and are concerned).
    – Also with the ramping drugging of children and young adults, I had a strong suspicion that many of the mass shootings that have happened involved antidepressants being given to the “perpetrators”. This has actually been studied to have relevance. Not only is suicide a possible “side effect” but so is aggression and harming others (while one’s brain is affected and they are not thinking clearly).
    – So giving pharmaceutical drugs are not the answer. There has even been discovery that they do not do what they are even intended to do and are just more of big pharma making big bucks. I find the “war on drugs” laughable, when the biggest drug pushers (and those making billions) are big pharma and the medical establishment (not to mention the FDA). This all has to change.
    – Ritalin and other drugs for “ADD/ADHD” are stimulants that stress the system out until the child crashes. That seems outright abusive as it is. Studying what’s going on behind the scenes, both with pharmaceuticals and with the conditions themselves, lead to better alternatives.
    – Also, we are being bombarded with EMFs and other “negative signals” via TV and other forms of entertainment. There’s subliminal messages given in the already obviously negative images, violence, etc. And especially empaths pick up on these, and their nervous systems, minds, bodies are highly affected. Some signals that are being sent out can be used as “mind control”. Many places have banned the use of mind control, as well as all the harmful chemicals and toxins we’re subjected to in the US. But mostly the US allows these things and claims they are safe.
    – Even mercury amalgams can cause anorexia, bipolar disorder, etc. I also experienced anorexia as a result of this and was able to heal it (during college). Of course those most effected by these and other environmental toxins are those who chose to come into this life as bringers of the Light, Lightworkers, Empaths, etc. Most of us had issues as babies when we weren’t breast fed, and thus the issues go on and on.
    – And of course having kids of all ages so into violent video games, playing with lifelike guns (and getting killed by police), having every child with a cell phone with them at all times. These are not for the best interest of anyone, except those pushing these things and their far from altruistic intentions.

    I apologize for writing so much here. And it’s just kind of spewing out of me at the moment because I can’t be on the PC too long at a time. But as you can probably tell, I am very passionate about all this. Although, despite the “negative” connotations involved, I see very positive outcomes possible. And it’s people like you and I and so many of the “First Wave” who’ve come here to experience these types of things (and more), so we can be there for those coming in after us, who are highly sensitive empaths, like many of us, and have come to bring their enormous gifts to the world. But because of the state of the world, that’s why we are so needed. I still envision something like yours of a “Hogwarts” of sorts. Of course I see having a safe place for anyone in need of support can go online. But it is a dream to have a place where we can have them come for a bit to get away from the outside chaotic messages and interference. We can help them to discover their gifts through being in nature, creative expression, spiritual practices, exploration of magic and the multidimensional aspects, etc. (And the multidimensional aspects are enough to lead one to think they might be going crazy… so awareness being so important for them and letting them know they are not alone).

    These are not necessarily things schools can or should be responsible. And of course not all parents are going to be aware of or understand these things. But times are changing, and we can play such a huge role in being there for these amazing children and young adults, as well as the people who are supportive of them.

    • Kimberly,
      Thank you for sharing your truth in such a bold and vulnerable way. Your story is like so many others who struggle with sensitivities and are “diagnosed” and then become sicker because of pharmaceuticals. It is a tragedy. I’m so glad you found your way through it and are now able to be a source of guidance, love and support for others.

  3. Kate Street says:

    Beautiful, raw, and just plain TRUE. Every word. You are articulate and beautiful, Sister. Just today I was talking to my 10 year old about why he and I often feel uncomfortable out in public and around other people ~ because we are empaths and can feel their emotions, which can be overwhelming and chaotic.

    My heart goes out to all those touched by the death of these sensitive souls.
    ♥♥♥

  4. Wonderfully written and painfully true! Just last night my 11 year old daughter asked me if I heard about the girl that jumped off the bridge. So we talked about it and she is INDEED an empath! She felt the pain of this girl and how it could have driven her to cause her own death. At 11, she FEELS this! She has compassion, love, and genuine empathy for a total stranger.

    I wholeheartedly agree with your summary about our culture and its external values. This is why I have become a coach. Since finding a way to inner peace and serenity, I want to help others find their way too. It is always nice to learn that we are not alone in our opinions on what is going wrong in our world. Thank your for sharing, for having the courage to write about a taboo subject, and for enlightening us on another way to BE.

  5. Julie Dumke says:

    Well said Lauri! As a teacher in the school mentioned, I whole heartedly agree with your assessment. This year will be my 30th year in education. The number one thing I have seen change in kids is their level of stress and anxiety. As we all remember , High school is hard enough socially but today there is so much extra external pressure. Wether it is; 1) to be a 4.0 or else they will never will get into the college of their choice, 2) they must attend practice before school, after school and Sunday’s or they won’t be the state champions and they’ll never play in college if they aren’t the champions, 3) the pressure to have the latest phone/shoes/name brand or they won’t fit in. God Bless the renegades who are strong enough to say no to all of this and start to build their own path may we adults recognize and support them as they build the new future.

    • Julie,
      Thank you for weighing in and for adding your experienced observations to the topic! Thank you for being an amazing guide and source of support for our children as they find their way in this difficult time in which we live. And indeed….THEY will be the ones building the new world and for this I am especially grateful!

  6. Jake says:

    Fuck you and this article! You are what’s wrong with this world. Trying to blame others for shit that can be avoided with decent parenting. I’m not saying these suicides are the fault of the parents, not in the slightest.
    I’m saying that you and your helicopter parenting ideals are what have fucked up this place more than anything so, fuck you!

    • Jake,
      Your response tells me that these words triggered something deeply personal for you. I encourage you to find out what that issue might be and find support for moving through it. If you were friends with the girl who committed suicide, or if you have lost a friend or acquaintance to suicide, I would strongly encourage you to speak with a teacher or guidance counselor at school – they are there to support you in moving through the shock, trauma and grief that arise when we lose a family member or friend to suicide.

      Lauri

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