Wisdom Workout

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Emotional Maturity

By Susan McNeal Velasquez

High-minded concepts are health food for the over-burdened mind. There is nothing like a good inspirational concept to lift our spirits and help us to get over the rough spots of day-to-day living. Used correctly, aphorisms and truisms can provide just enough lift to get us out of the doldrums of fear and apprehension that sometimes visit us during stressful times.

I remember when I was going through my divorce and starting a new life from scratch. I would sit on the balcony after another day of new experiences, responsibilities, and insecurities and attempt to assess my future. My favorite positive thought at that time was: “Maybe the big earthquake will happen under me and I won’t have to do all this.” Okay, so I admit that black humor is a part of my Irish heritage, but from where I was sitting, that was a positive thought.

My point is that, like Tarzan swinging through the jungle from vine to vine, concepts held lightly and surrendered easily can bring momentum and fluidity to our obsessive minds and numbed-out hearts.

It is just plain wrong and a serious evasion of the facts, when concepts are cemented together and used as a protective shield to inform the world that we have arrived at static perfection and spiritual enlightenment.

True love and authenticity come out of strength, self-reliance and self-responsibility. For real love and genuine faith to exist, emotional maturity is a necessity.

The intellect responds easily and effortlessly to uplifting thoughts. Spirituality and intellect go hand in hand, a well-matched couple. What about our pesky, uncontrollable emotions? Like the fake arrow that Steve Martin used to wear on his head, we tend to bypass the messy parts of ourselves that are childish, spoiled, resentful, sad, fearful and confused. Instead, we build a façade of invincibility that keeps us walled off and protected from our fears of the future and perceived failures from our past.

The only way to keep this protective pretense in place is through rigidity of thought. We try to convince ourselves that through diligent high-minded thinking, we can and have “arrived.” We were bad, and now we are good. We were confused, and now we are clear. We were weak, and now we are strong. We were hateful and now we are loving.

We do not grow absolutely or chronologically. Instead, we grow unevenly. We grow partially. We are mature in one realm, childish in another. Our past, our present and our future mingle and pull us backward, push us forward, and isolate us in the present. We are made up of layers and with each passage from one stage of our growth to another; we must shed our protective structure.

Our emotions leave us exposed and vulnerable but also create the opportunity to cleanse, renew and gain flexibility once again. Though rubbery and weak-kneed from an emotional meltdown, listening to and accepting our emotional intelligence allows us to shed our old skin, stretch, and flex in new ways.

When we give up comfort spirituality and include our emotions, we become current and connected. Then, we can become a conduit of creative energy in the world. Our intellect joins hands with our emotions and under the umbrella of the Universal Mind; we wake up to present time. Our flexibility increases and allows us the grace of moment-to-moment fluidity and the trust and the inner security to let go of our rigid hold on ourselves and our lives.

When the floodgates of our minds and hearts are opened, we become adaptable, versatile, creative and exquisitely responsive to all aspects of ourselves. We stand firmly in the present, accepting our immature emotions home. We begin to parent them as they evolve into an increased capacity in us to treat others, and ourselves, generously, compassionately, and with humility because we become mature enough to laugh fully and heartily—at ourselves.

 

Susan is the author of “Beyond Intellect: Journey into the Wisdom of Your Intuitive Mind.” Reach her at susanvelasquez.com.

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