I INTEGRATE ALL PARTS OF ME
while still working on the ‘old stuff’
PREVIOUS: Emotional Immaturity (Part 3)
Emotional Maturity (EM) ….means having a healthy self-concept: not thinking too highly or too lowly of ourselves …… is when we’re in the world but realize that we’re not the center of it.
“Maturity consists of no longer being taken in by oneself” Anon.
“Maturity is the ability to think, speak & act your feelings within the bounds of dignity. The measure of your maturity is how spiritual you become during the midst of your frustrations.” Samuel Ullman (American businessman, poet & humanitarian)
Characteristics of maturity can be identified in relation to:
a. Social age – ability to relate well socially for our physical age
b. Emotional age – ability to handle emotions appropriate for our age
c. Spiritual age – ability to handle ourselves in a spiritually mature way
In ACoA language, EM develops slowly by minimizing the damage in our WIC & eliminating the PP voice – as much as possible. Ultimately it’s about no longer having S-H & living from our True Self.
Maturity comes from growing the ‘Unit’ of the healthy Adult & Loving Parent, who are regularly (but not always) in charge of the WIC, can deflect the bad parent voice away from the IC, encourage the Natural Child to blossom, & keep us in touch with our Higher Power.
• Maturity does NOT mean having lost all our damage, but instead means lessening the grip of the Introject, diminish the accumulated old pain & have the ability the deal with our core wounds whenever they do surface, so they don’t take over, & we can get over them faster.
ACoAs are quite capable of developing mental, emotional & spiritual maturity – as long as we don’t strive for perfection*. As we internalize the “Principles of the Program” we outgrow the worst of our damage & can live comfortably in the present, instead of our tortured past. When we internalize psychological health we carry it with us even under stress, & express it in ‘all our affairs’
✶ Perfectionism is a sign of immaturity. This is a belief
(a CD) rather than an event or action. It is based in FoA & S-H, rather than self-esteem. To be human is to be IMperfect, & to be mature is to be OK with that! Yes, there are times when everything works out well, we are successful in a task or reaching a goal, we feel empowered. None of these are about perfection. At its simplest, they are events with no mistakes. Those moments are the result of help from H.P., our own faith, knowledge, effort, practice & persistence, & perhaps some ‘luck’.
KEY QUALITIES of MATURITY
• Emotional Responsibility : know what our emotions are, AND that they come from inside of us, rather than being caused by external people, places or things
• Self-control: accept and control our passions, emotions & desires. Can handle stress well, can ‘let go’ & detach, knowing when we’re powerless over a situation
• Self-esteem: have inner fulfillment, enjoy life, experience ourselves as one source of love. Have understanding, insight
2. Psychological / Mental
• Cognitive Responsibility: be accountable for our thoughts – beliefs, opinions & prejudices. Handle finances, have good work habits and are reliable
• Mental Clarity: able to think clearly & rationally. Can process information based on current reality, know how to gather & communicate info
• Independence: make appropriate decisions and observe consequences, in order to make better choices. Learn & grow from experience
• Action Responsibility: know what we want & the ability to make it happen
• Function: make the effort to learn what we need to know in order to accomplish our goals
• Participation: join group and community activities that foster creativity, collaboration, and empowerment, perhaps volunteer in a relevant cause
• Interpersonal Responsibility: treat people as separate entities with the
right to their own needs, wishes & dreams (not using people)
• Respect: understand and tolerate different views, cooperate with peers and teams, caring about others & representing their concern
• Connections: make connections easily, sustain intimate relationship, take in friendship & love, share decisions & resources
• Moral Responsibility: have a healthy value system (code of ethics) &
choose what’s right for ourselves first & then in relation to others
• Congruent: Act honestly, live by our principles & listen to our intuition
• Altruism: concern for all humanity, do what we can to help others – realistically
NEXT: Emotional Maturity (Part 2)