Maturity requires stages and a progression that cannot be skipped.
We start with being completely wrapped up in ourselves. This is the mind of a toddler that thinks the whole world is an extension of him or herself. There is no distinction between what goes on out there and what is inherent within.
Growing a little older a child begins to understand that he is different than others and that others are not him, but the circumstances of the child’s world still directly reflect the child himself. What happens in the child’s world and to the people in the child’s world is still completely about the child.
At about the age of 12 our mind grows to understand that others are distinct people separate from us. We are able to step out of our own experience and put ourselves in the shoes of another. This is called the age of reason.
From here we immediately move into the independent stage. The teen years are critical for separating ourselves from our parents. Anything that parents put upon teens by way of expectations of maintaining the parents sense of self, supporting the parents egos, or playing out the parents un-lived hopes and dreams, will be automatically and often quite ruthlessly rejected by the teen.
For the teen must differentiate at all costs in order to mature.
Those who manage this differentiation go on to find their own successes. They express their passions, know their dreams and are freed in creative expression to find solutions that take them forward. They find out what they are good at and what they uniquely have to offer and bring to the table. Here we experience independence.
Only after this are we able to truly become interdependent. After all interdependence depends on two or more independent individuals. There can be no collaborations without complete people, for only a strong sense of self leads to powerful synergy with others.
Interdependence has us drawing from others and giving to others in a way that does not diminish either party. Those who are not yet independent cannot give or receive without feeling diminished and/or aggrandized, for their sense of self is not yet fully formed.
All of this to say that it is important to recognize where you are on the maturity scale and work accordingly in that place and towards the next stage.
For those of us who were traumatized in any way during childhood there is a possibility of being stuck at the age when trauma occurred. Trauma interrupts the natural development of any of us. Our emotions get stuck at that age, our reasoning gets stuck at that age, our perspectives get stuck at that age.
If for instance you or someone you know is always reflecting what people say and do as being about themselves, it is a pretty good sign that they are emotionally and cognitively operating from a child’s place.
I myself was stuck emotionally for quite some time at 9 years of age. For it was at the age of 9 that I was raped coming home from school one day. It took some hard inner work, the help of prayer ministers and psychologists and the simple healing of Jesus Christ to get me past that point.
But the amazing thing with healing is that once the stuck place (you know how we used to call a record that would skip and skip on the same spot a broken record), is healed, once the scars are erased in the power of Jesus Christ we go on to grow and mature at amazingly fast rates of speed.
As I have prayed and minister healing to many individuals over the years I am convinced that these ‘stuck’ places that began at childhood are often the root of many of our inabilities to get on with life and success.
There is a lot more to speak of regarding this, but I wanted to give a glimpse into some of the inner realities of our lives. Noting loud and clear that all of it can be healed and we can be freed to mature and find great satisfactions in life.
I’m a living testimony.