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‘Grow up’ refrain can cause confusion

“Grow up!” he roared before he let out a string of expletives. And she wondered how much more growing up she had to do. She had thought herself mature long ago, but sometimes she thought that he could stand a little modification. She couldn’t fix him, though. She could fix only herself. Maybe it was just a thing between spouses.

James Hollis, Ph.D. in his book, Living an Examined Life: Wisdom for the Second Half of the Journey, provides four questions to ask yourself about your state of maturity:

1.Where do I need to grow up, to step into my life?

2.What fear will I need to confront in doing so?

3.Is that fear realistic or from an earlier time in my development?

4.Given that heavy feeling I have carried for so long already, what is the price I have to pay for not growing up?

He cites the two greatest threats within humans: fear and lethargy. The fear tells you that you are no match for that big, bad world out there. Lethargy tells you that you can just deal with everything tomorrow. For now you deserve to chill out.

Hollis says that when we say, “I am responsible, I am accountable, I have to deal with this,” that is the day we grow up, at least until the next time, the next regression, the next evasion. He explains that “all life is asking of us is that we face what we fear, respond to our summons to show up and show up as the person we are, the best person we can be.”

So, let’s go to our trusty dictionary for some clarity of terms.

Fear: an unpleasant feeling triggered by the perception of danger, real or imagined.

Grow up: Advance to maturity; begin to behave or think sensibly and realistically.

Maturity: the state, fact, or period of being mature; full development.

In his article, “Marks of Maturity,” Tim Elmore, a columnist at PsychologyToday.com, provides a list of the signs of maturity. There won’t be a test and your answers will be private between you and the fence post. How do you fare?

— Able to keep long-term commitments, to delay gratification, to do the right thing even when you don’t want to. (Don’t make promises you can’t keep.)

— Unshaken by flattery or criticism, secure in self identity. (You keep moving forward regardless of what others say.)

— Possess spirit of humility, thinking of self less and others more – but not thinking less of yourself. (There is a difference.)

— Decisions based on character, not feelings. (Remember all of the wisdoms your mother taught you when your parents were teaching you the way that you should grow–building your character?)

— Express gratitude consistently because you see the grand scheme of things and realize you don’t have it so bad after all. (If you look around you, you can always find someone who is worse off than you are.)

— Prioritize others before self.

— Seek wisdom before acting because you realize that, as much as you know, you will never know everything.

Life, say the experts, asks only that you be the best you that you can be. (You go down the middle of the path that is life. You may waver to the left or to the right but you will always come back to center.)

Addiction has no address, but Family Recovery Center does. For more information about the education, prevention and treatment programs for substance abuse and related behavioral issues, contact the agency at 964 N. Market St., Lisbon; phone, 330-424-1468; or e-mail, info@familyrecovery.org. Visit the web site at www.familyrecovery.org. Family Recovery Center is funded in part by United Way of Northern Columbiana County.

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