It's funny how some things turn out completely opposite to how you thought they would. How our projected thoughts for the future are often so off base. And with this realization comes the 'aha' (borrowed term) that we know so very little about stuff… we think we are wise, but it's all relative and we'll probably never ever figure it all out. Once in awhile we are given tiny tidbits to chew on… and I'm thankful for those.
So today I'm chewing on the idea of maturity… particularly what it looks like to be growing in emotional maturity. Turns out it might be different than I thought, or what I've read, or what those closest to me say. Of course, this is just my opinion… can't prove it (yet).
Now people say things and write things that we read and listen to and take inside ourselves and believe without question… sometimes those things even become values for us, things to aspire to, measuring sticks, when really they are just someone's opinion… and not necessarily truth or even relevant to who I am or who I am supposed to be.
Those people closest to us speak things that we unquestioningly accept as truth too… and while I appreciate the input of those I love very much, sometimes they too can say things that are not quite right… so we must be careful that we sieve everything through a very fine mesh. Who I believe I am effects how I live my life… so who do I believe I am… and where does this ultimate definition come from? My faith is foundational… but am I sourcing this maturity thing out… and then am I living in line with what God says maturity looks like?
So I'm just starting to consider what maturity might look like; what wisdom might look like? I thought I had some understanding of these two things… that at this point in my life (mid-life - yikes!) my aspirations were that I would act a certain way and believe certain things and be strong and resilient and confident and share these things with others on the journey. But I'm beginning to wonder if being emotionally mature might look different than I thought it would? That what I have to offer might be different too?
Culture tells me that emotional maturity looks rational, intuitive, in control, well thought out, among other things. My husband certainly has these expectations after being married for 23 years this June 6th… he looks at our communication techniques, and my control over emotions in this area, as a sign of maturity in our relationship. I have to admit I don't meet his expectations here.
And I think of the things that I struggle with the most… the (over?)sensitivity of my feelings, the depth of my emotions, the passion of my expressions, and I feel like I'm not growing in my ability to control these at all, rather I'm growing in my ability to perceive them, and express them, instead of squelch them or pretend that they don't exist. And that causes conflict sometimes, I admit!
So, here's my emerging thought today… maybe maturity and wisdom brings a certain softening of the heart rather than hardening or controlling… that feeling empathy and compassion and mercy, and relating to the human condition in all it's joy and all it's tragedy… and having the confidence to speak/write openly about it, and having the guts to do something about it… that's maturity?
There's this song that we've sung at church that has the lyrics, "break my heart for what breaks Yours," and so right here, right now, I'm beginning to think that feeling the things that I do, is actually a gift rather than a curse. I want my heart to feel… my tears to be good and acceptable and a sign that I care about things outside of myself. Don't you? Is that what having a life that is "an open book" means?
As I continue with this line of thought I will source out what God says about this… that will be the ultimate truth for me. So, if you are interested, stay tuned…
4 days ago