Too Old For That: A Lesson On Emotional Maturity
At some point in life you begin to realize that age, just like background and previous experiences does matter. In fact it matters more than what we like to think most times. Sometimes you just come across situations and people that don't understand what should have your undivided attention and what shouldn't even be a factor. Learning how to preserve and protect our energy is a mood. I'm learning that just because a person is of age does not mean that they've achieved their peak of maturation. It's a lot of really childish and ill mannered people in the world and the more you get to know them, the more you'll realize exactly what I'm speaking on. That's not to say that people can not evolve, it just assist the emotionally conscious in dealing with the latter. None of us are socially perfect, and I for one am happy about that. It provides room for people, places and experiences to aid us in our betterment.
Life is very short. and if you allow the way things are happening around you to dictate how you feel about anything, it is almost inevitable for you to fall victim. You'll find yourself angry and annoyed because of the things that you really can not control. Speaking from experience, it will bother you if you truly allow it to. We,(humans) men and women the same tend to learn the facts of life very differently. We experience them in multiple ways and what life lessons resonate, when and how, happens on a very wide spectrum.
There's this breakdown of how we get to where we would need to be called the Six Levels of Emotional Maturity. All six being: Responsibility, Honesty, Openness, Assertiveness, Understanding and Detachment. As I read through the explicit explanations of each I felt the need to delve a little deeper into the few that I see within myself and those around me. I will include the link so that you all can do the same below.
Responsibility, we all know that sometimes we don't like to own up to what we feel. Taking full accountability for one's emotions is the name of the game for a lot of people, myself included. It gets real easy to blame and point the finger when our emotions are all out of whack. Only leading to more disastrous behavior. Reaching emotional responsibility helps us to remove speech that influences us to downplay the way we really feel.
It ultimately cuts out the victim attitude towards feelings. We must learn to remove phrases like, "You make me so mad when you do that..." It insinuates that the other person is the cause of your anger instead of owning the control and power we have placed onto the situation. What has recently worked for me is, "When that (whatever the issue may have been) happened , I felt... (taking responsibility for my emotion) because I interpreted that to mean ..." It has taking the fire out of so many disagreements. This works when we as humans realize that our feelings don't have to be logical in order to be valid.
Next is Honesty. I thought it would be important to show the contrast in self acceptance and self understanding. They really do go hand in hand and if one isn't properly executed, the other falls short. Self acceptance is the act of taking or receiving something offered (to or from yourself). Self understanding is the the comprehension of who you are and why you're that way. "Emotional honesty concerns the willingness of a person to know and own his or her feelings."(Kevin Everett FitzMaurice) The difference in comprehending and accepting is the simple mental grasp.
The acceptance is the last part of the ordeal, the closer so to speak. For us to fully digest an idea as complex as emotions it is pertinent that we first understand why we feel what we feel.
THEN accept that those emotions are absolutely, positively alright. Right or wrong, no one can tell you how to feel. Release the critical thought of fearing what you feel. It hurts you. "To thine own self be true" is a line from Shakespeare's Hamlet, meaning that you are always true to what you feel. Even if you have yet to accept it.
Openness is my second favorite because it's the one I struggle with the most. Seeing it documented with solutions to getting better at it felt wonderful and let me know that I am on the right track with becoming more emotionally stable and available. "Willingness to share feelings."(Kevin Everett FitzMaurice) That sentence alone is scary to read. It's a terrifying thing to not only feel, but to fathom the thought of having to share those feelings. Again, as humans, who all have been through troublesome and sometimes traumatic experiences we are naturally skeptical and afraid of what I like to call uninhibited transparency. The thought that someone has: 1. "Made us feel some type of way" urges us to equate emotions with control. Which I do so often. 2. Emotions= Sensitivity+ Vulnerability = Weakness. Literally couldn't be more wrong than 2 left shoes.
But these are the beliefs we stand on. In fact, lack there of is quite selfish to those who care and want to help you get better. Freedom to experience any emotion without the need to sweep it under the rug like it never occurred or downplay it like it wasn't as severe as it really is, is the ultimate goal.
I know it's long, but it's so beneficial in the long haul, you'll thank me later. Last, but the most potent is Assertiveness. With being assertive, we must learn to be firm in our emotions. Firm enough to be able to feel, acknowledge, and then share them awhile recognizing that it is <strong>NOT</strong> selfish to desire positive self expression and time to understand."The primary goal here is to be able to ask for and to receive the nurturing that he or she needs and wants–first from self, and then from others." (Kevin Everett FitzMaurice) As we began to get older and find ourselves committed to different aspects in life, we develop this belief that doing things for ourselves is selfish. The reality is, if you are not whole heartedly complete and happy with yourself, you're no good for anyone else either. Be mindful of that when considering unplugging for a little bit. I do it all the time and when I come back, I feel better than I did when I left. The author of the piece Kevin Everett FitzMaurice, provided some actions that can be characterized as emotional assertiveness. I'll list them here and hopefully you'll take them through life with you!
Asking for alone time to contemplate, meditate, and pray. Asking for encouragement to complete a task or to achieve a goal. Asking for help to grieve a loss. Asking for time and space alone to process feelings. Asking for understanding and compassion for some unpleasant feelings. Asking to be heard out without advice or judgment. Being able to accept compliments with a simple, “Thank you.” Expressing what you are feeling while giving the other person permission to feel differently. Expressing what you are feeling without requiring others to understand or appreciate your feelings. Informing others that you are feeling vulnerable and may react poorly under stress or to confrontation for a while. Letting someone know you love and care about them in a non-sexual and safe way. Offering congratulations to others for their achievements. Rewarding positive social behaviors with approval and support. Telling someone that you think what he or she did was smart, timely, or important.
These things have been more than beneficial for me. How do you love on yourself?