I often wonder why we allow medical marketing to convince us that the only way to happiness and social integration is by being “normal’. To whom is it to determine what is normal? How far can one deviate from the norm before it becomes a problem? When is the behavior reactive to environmental circumstances versus a chemical or mental deviation worthy of medical intervention. This last question is the scariest because that answer is left to millions of individual doctors all with different perspectives on when to medicate.
Though these thoughts apply to many behavior deviations from the so called norm, the one I wish to address is compulsive behavior. Why? Because it’s thumb-print is evident on individuals found all around us—maybe even within ourselves. My mom was a compulsive eater, my brother a compulsive drinker and me…well, I’m a compulsive worker with an insatiable desire to learn.
As we get on in years it affords a different lens to which we can look. Being reflective I find myself trying to understand and then ponder how to apply forward to help others. My observations led me to some conclusions that I’d like to share with the parents and guardians of our newest generations.
I believe compulsion is energy. A tightly wound ball of wonder. As it spins through its environment it seeks to pull all that it can from the point of interest. When set to a positive activity, the world is blessed with an individual powerful enough to leave a mark on the world. Steve Jobs is one of the most current examples but there are many, many more. When the energy is not directed, when it cannot be released, it becomes destructive to the bearer of the energy and even those within its circle.
Some may self-medicate through alcohol, drugs or food. Depression may set in, a feeling of being misunderstood, out of control behavior may become the release to a person who feels unable to relate to their environment…and the path to medical management starts.
There is a different path, one that does not quiet or disable the energy, but one that provides room for the energy to explore, grow and produce the wonderful results that only this type of energy and focus can. It is hard to raise a child with such energy. It may be hard to understand him or her much of the time, but these children were gifted an ability to climb the tallest mountains for a reason.
Help him or her find an outlet such as sports, art, music, academics…etc. It may be that these young ones have as many interests as there are days of the month…let them explore. Childhood where there is freedom to explore and learn allows for finding a purpose, interest or talent that will last a lifetime. Once this happens, these miracles of God will accomplish what few have the ability to do.