The Native American people have used a tool to find balance in their lives by exercising their volition and finding the gifts from each medicine wheel’s direction. The Medicine Wheel represents the four sacred mountains, four directions, four colors of man, and the four aspects of human potentialities. The human potentialities are the spiritual, emotional, physical, and mental self. For each direction of the Medicine Wheel, there is a representation of potential.
The direction of the East brings gifts of the spirit and new beginnings. In the East’s path, one can let go of past mistakes and move into the new day without the burden of guilt or shame.
Many of us keep ourselves, hostage, by taking and carrying those past mistakes. When we bring up past mistakes to our teenagers, it can make them feel like they cannot regain trust or respect from their parents (so why even try).
Here in the East, one can start a path of spiritualism. If there is a disconnect from a higher power or not feeding their souls, life can have less meaning and direction. If you find your youth often stating a sense of hopelessness, then look at their spiritual self, is it atrophying?
The South Medicine Wheel
In the South of the Medicine Wheel’s direction, you will find many gifts that help discipline emotions so that one does not hurt others. Anger seems to be a common trait for an adolescent that is struggling.
The South’s gift says it is alright to be angry, but discipline your emotions to communicate that anger without hurting or disrespecting others. It also cautions on love. Love is a powerful emotion but can often be destructive. If you enable, rescue, or withhold natural consequences from your teen.
In the West’s direction, gifts of the physical body, inner self, and the unseen are found. The West’s direction asks one to go within them to see the inner strength and answers to one’s problems.
Teens today often lose their sense of self, their essence of who they are. The West’s direction helps to reconnect with that essence, build self-esteem, use problem-solving skills, and reclaim core strengths.
The North Medicine Wheel
Last but not least, in the direction of the North, in the North, the gift of clarity and wisdom is found. For a struggling teen, they need the wisdom of those who have had the experience to guide and direct their paths.
Open communication and suggestions can help teens gain personal knowledge and wisdom to tackle the problems they face every day.
Volition is the power and the determination to find balance in the middle of the Medicine Wheel.
Balancing all the gifts of the four directions is the ultimate goal. Here one can find peace and happiness. When one is unbalanced in any direction, it will eventually affect other areas of the human potential.
If you find that you are struggling with your teen, look at what areas are unbalanced. What gifts from the Medicine Wheel can you utilize to bring back the balance in your relationship?
In the journey of parenthood, you may find yourself often visiting each direction of the Medicine Wheel.
Remember to persevere when the climb becomes steep and never give up on the relationship you have with your teen. The human capacity to develop its potential is infinite, and the Medicine Wheel turns forever.