Because growing up is hard… We have had several generations of children bringing up children, in the West. Partly because so many good men died on the Somme.
But this is a longer story. “Progress” has disrupted traditions repeadly over the millenia. Those traditions are what link us to the wisdom of the past – the lessons that previous generations have learned. We “embody” those traditions through ritual and practice – they become a part of us. A good example is Martial arts training. I practice martial arts movements – forms – that have been refined and taught over generations. Each refinement results in greater effectiveness in achieveing the goal. Which in martial arts is overall health and wellbeing. In societies, the goal is harmony.
The Okipa ritual. Image: George Catlin, circa 1832
To create harmony, we used to initiate our young men by subjecting them to intense rites-of-passages. This enabled boys to learn wat really mattered in life. That is to learn who they are and bring their strengths in service to their communities. When Christianity was adopted, those tribal traiditons were replaced by a “fear of God” – behave or you’ll end up in hell… Agree with that sentiment or not, it worked to keep the peace within society, among other impacts.
Religion and spiritual practices are becoming degraded within our communities, men are no longer growing up. They don’t know how. They don’t have the guidance or the incentive – being encouraged from all angles to numb out with porn, social media, junk food, video games etc etc etc.
What’s your problem? You’re not growing up!
So why are you struggling? Because you’re a boy and you need to grow up. I’s that easy. But it’s that hard. Growing up is hard. But necessary and greatly rewarding. It can be done day-to-day whilst facing the mundane challenges that you face. Each situation presents an opportunity for you to be better, or become worse in your own life. Do you lose control and shout at your partner, or reign it in, breath and respond calmly. Do you eat the heart-damaging junk food, or the wholesome meal your loving family members have prepared for you? Each choice is a small initiation and the results stack.
Parents and teachers were never going to teach you how to be an adult, because very few of them even know what that means. You can however go ahead and check out the Map to Personal Sovereignty. That will give you some ideas.