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“Maturity is the ability to think, speak and act your feelings within the bounds of dignity. The measure of your maturity is how spiritual you become.” ~Samuel Ullma

The process of emotional and spiritual maturation requires the relinquishment of our attachments and dependencies, which spring from our individual experiential needs.

When people fail to learn how to meet their own emotional needs—a sense of worthiness, of being seen, supported, of belonging—they can become dependent on others to do so for them.

This creates unbalanced, dysfunctional relationships with things and people.

Classic examples: the mid-life crisis sports car or extramarital affair. Needing to show off your house, jewelry, etc.

Think about the things you currently rely on. I’m not talking about your basic needs here, like food, shelter, water, heat.

I’m talking about your patterns of dependencies on achievement, or accolades, or the display of same.

Or attachments you may have to belief structures, or other people’s opinions of you, or the world around you and the way it works.

Or attachments to places, or to people, or to possessions.

Could some of those attachments be for fear of not being enough or having enough or doing enough?

What is ‘enough,’ anyway?

That’s a subjective question.

But if you can’t answer it for yourself, you’ll collect everyone else’s answers, like bits of string and ribbons left strewn around your house, collecting in the corners, loose ends lacking adherence.

One of the most ridiculous reflections of our general population’s lack of maturity: Storage lockers to house the stuff that doesn’t fit in your home.

There’s a metaphor in there somewhere…

“Stop shrinking yourself to fit places you’ve outgrown.” ~Furaha Joyce

To mature we are required to renounce our expectations of the future—and our reliance on our plans for it.

I’m not saying not to plan; I’m saying don’t rely on it.

Don’t get upset when some future reality doesn’t meet your expectations; you must relinquish trying to control future outcomes.

And that sucks.

Which is why so few folks ever really grow into emotional maturity. Not only does it require giving up our attachments (depending on what once defined your sense of worthiness, like accomplishment, contacts, reputation, or possessions), it demands a giving in as well.

Giving in to what you’ll never become, giving in to what you’ll never control, and giving in to the uncertainty of life and your’s in particular.

You cannot carry your entire life on your back—put it in your heart, where it belongs.

And you cannot stay the same person and still grow.

That’s like trying to squeeze your way into a pair of jeans you wore when you were twelve years old; you’ve outgrown them.

Time for a new pair.

And for heaven’s sake, great rid of the storage locker.

“There are two ways to be rich: One is by acquiring much, and the other is by desiring little.” ~Jackie French Koller

 

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