One of the things that surprised me most from being a leader at youth conference this weekend was how many kids participated. There were a variety of activities, from swimming and volleyball, a scavenger hunt and obstacle course, to devotionals and dancing. I was blown away with their enthusiasm and energy. ALL of the kids were involved!
After working with teenagers for over 20 years, I was expecting some kids to sit on the side-line. Usually there are a few stragglers and loners who prefer to sit by themselves, but I saw very few this time.
So, does this mean that they ALL loved it and felt a part of the group? It is fascinating to hear from kids individually; some felt included, and some felt alone.
How could you feel lonely in a sea of people? Doesn’t being immersed in a mash dance and running a relay with your group make you FEEL included? NOPE. Because guess what, your feelings are a direct result of our own thoughts and NOT what is happening around us.
We are accustomed to believing that whatever situation we are in creates our emotion. Maybe if the thought running in your head is, “Nobody here likes me” you might possibly feel sad. Or if you are thinking, “I wish I was more like her” you might feel inadequate. Verses a thought “I am making so many new friends” creates the feeling of included.
Gaining awareness of our thoughts and how they are creating our emotions is so powerful. Next time you are feeling a strong emotion, see if you can identify what thought is fueling it.
Today my main emotion is RELIEF, because guess what my thought is…… youth conference is not for another year!