LIFE ONGOING - When Will I Ever Grow Up?
By Christy Wiseman
Being somewhat dependent on someone else and then learning to be wholly independent takes a bit of doing. In the process, I’ve sometimes heard the question: “When will you ever grow up?”
I must admit that I’ve occasionally looked inside myself and wondered that very thing. The easy answer can be: “Hopefully never.”
There is a lot of truth in that quick response because who among us wants to lose the child-like wonder when coming upon an unexpected scene of beauty, or the absolute joy of welcoming a new day full of possibilities? Life, however, also brings us other more weighty issues as we age and for me the answer is complex.
I will be all grown up:
When I realize that the greatest treasure on earth is friendship, whether it be with a lover, a companion, an acquaintance, a relative, a stranger or with myself.
When I realize that each person needs to have boundaries, set by their values and priorities as you get, for the most part, what you accept. I need to accept those thoughts, actions, suggestions and criticisms that will help me improve in this process of becoming.
When I realize that being child-like in my joys and in my life is very different than being childish.
When I choose to believe people are good, and still put important things in writing so that disappointments in another’s behavior remains his or her problem on his or her path, and is not destructive to me.
When I realize that any of us is guaranteed is this moment in time, so we need to keep our priorities straight and live joyfully and gratefully within our system of values.
When I realize that your God and my God or “higher power” are really from the same source.
When I learn that life should be about love—of my family and of the very special people I’m blessed to call friends; of people who are different than I am in whatever ways they are different, understanding that my way is right for me. It isn’t THE way or right for everyone.
When I learn to make amends to those people I’ve harmed, knowing that I can only control my action, not their reaction. I need to know that however this turns out, I’m now free to let this issue go. I have done what I could.
When I learn to let go, rather than to try to make another person’s progress in life my business or dependent on me. We all have freedom of choice and we need to each take ownership of the consequences.
When I learn that people whose values are toxic to me can and should be blessed and avoided.
When I learn that forgiveness isn’t weakness and that forgiving others is really about clearing out my head and heart so that those spaces can be filled with positive energy.
When I learn that other people are also a “work in process” and I can love them for their good qualities and let them worry about their own challenges, while not allowing myself to be affected by them.
When I learn that the baggage from my past can only affect my now and my future if I choose to let it.
When I take along the baggage that enhances me and leave behind that which needs to be left behind.
When I understand that the only person I can change is me. I am, until I die, “a work in progress” on this road to “growing up.”