Are you caught in a Peter Pan loop, not wanting to grow up - or like Wendy, continually left to pick up the pieces? Adolescence is full of exuberance yet has a shadow side. Big on self-confidence, teens ache to be special, to be right, yet still expect to be bailed out when things go wrong. Teens like to win regardless - to do what they do, because they can, not because it’s right.
Should we fail to leave adolescence, we continue to experience all the vulnerabilities of teen life, leaving us forever blaming and complaining, caught up in erratic self-centred behaviour, and agonising over what we’re meant to do with our lives.
What happens when our pursuit of happiness turns toxic, when we’re constantly massaging the truth to ‘fit’ our worldview, when unexpected events leave us anxious and unable to cope? What makes us vulnerable to over-spending, to unhealthy competition, to cheating?
What changes when we let go our fear of ageing, our determination always to be happy? Why are our negative emotions useful too? What does the story of Narcissus reveal about our narcissistic tendencies? Why is wonderment so valuable?
As we embrace our life challenges, they help us (and our kids), live bigger, fuller lives, that deliver genuine meaning and worth. First though we need to grow up.