Sunday, June 3, 2012

Adulthood - How is This Life Passage Designed?

Did anyone ever tell you how to be a grown-up?

All too rare is the person who can answer "yes" to that question! Yet, learning the fundamental pattern that drives the basic stages of adult life has a myriad of benefits. It can be a tremendous relief ('wow, I'm normal, I'm not crazy, sick, bad, not-OK!). It can provide guidance for how to move through the various passages in healthy and satisfying ways. It can provide much needed direction for improving your relationships with your partner, your children, your parents, your friends and your co-workers.

It can even reduce or even eliminate feelings of insecurity and feelings of not-okayness. How is this possible?

It comes about because most of us are suffering under the false belief that being grown-up, having reached 'maturity' means that we should have put away the things of childhood - that we should have outgrown the needs and feelings and processes we grew through in the stages of childhood.

But that is absolutely incorrect! We are not designed to outgrow the stages of childhood - we are designed to repeat them in more sophisticated form throughout our entire adulthood. In fact, a good definition of emotional maturity would be being able to continue meeting the same emotional requirements for ourselves in adulthood that we first experienced in the dependencies of childhood.

If we continue to hold on to the belief that repeating these stages in adulthood means that we're not mature people, that we're not really grown-ups, our holding on gives rise to a huge amount of internal stress and all those horrible feelings of insecurity, thinking there's something wrong with us, lacking confidence, etc.

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But accept the fact that not only did you not outgrow the stages of childhood, but that you're not supposed to, that you're perfectly normal in that respect, and suddenly you're free of all that awful, self-generated stress and upset. You might even feel, as some people have reported, like dancing in the streets!

What do your grown-up life stages have to do with your parenting?

In a word: everything! Here's why: It is part of our basic nature as mature people to be able to repeat the same stages our children are growing through. That means that we have the same growth tasks to carry out (on a more mature level) that our children are carrying out in their foundational years.

It's as if nature gave us an automatic way of reminding us what our children are growing through so we can assist them in their growth tasks.

So deep and so profound and so fundamental is this evolving pattern, that it is one that we share with all of nature. Understanding this fact illuminates what we are up against if we try to deny it and try to fit our lives into some pre-conceived, or rather, ill-conceived mold.

That turns out to be an incredibly costly process - one that robs us of our health, our sense of well-being, our security, sabotages our relationships and more.

Remember that other saying: Don't fight Mother Nature... she always wins.

That's an expression that really is true - and it's also excellent advice for how to be a grown up.
Much better to join with our natural, inborn pattern as we evolve through our adult lives. We need to conclude - once and for all - that we will never outgrow the stages of childhood, and that we are destined to repeat them throughout life.

No matter how old we become chronologically, it is our fundamental nature to remain in the same growth pattern as children in this vast universe we call home.

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Source White Market

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