Topic Twenty six
Interior Spiritual life nurtures resilience based on purpose and meaning.
Confused, unprepared, and unmet in his spiritual burgeoning, a teen’s struggle is often misunderstood. Research suggests that a significant portion of teens who are depressed do not have a biologically based medical depression, but have developmental depression originating in the struggle for spiritual individuation and responsive to spiritual support.
Miller, Dr. Lisa. The Spiritual Child (p. 268). St. Martin's Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
In our modern society we do not have clear cut and widely shared rights of passage. Some might point to the age 16 and getting one’s learner’s permit for driving a car, or age 18 and the right to vote, or a confirmation in a church or a Bar Mitzvah or Bat Mitzvah in a synagogue as examples of a right of passage of sorts. For others it might be going off to college or the one of the Armed Services or having a child and/or getting married..
For many, the end of high school is a time of a sense of loss, structure, purpose and social support. What is one to do with oneself next in life? Without a spiritual compass and a sense of transcendent purpose in life, adolescents are cast adrift and are vulnerable to substance abuse, psychiatric, criminal justice, and other forms of social dysfunction. An interior spiritual life is a protective factor contributing to resiliency and constructive positive functioning.
Does Unitarian Universalism provide the much needed guidance for finding a sense of purpose and meaning in life? In what is this sense of meaning and purpose grounded? Is it substantial enough to base a life on?
All too often do UUs miss the mark when they try to anchor teens and young adults in social justice issues rather than the development of an interior spiritual life?