The art of becoming an adult

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Joe Dispenza
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The art of becoming an adult

Last update: May 29, 2017

The art of becoming an adult requires courage, commitment and responsibility with oneself and with others. Turning into healthy adults is no easy task, especially when we consider the way society is organized in which we grow.

Based on how we lived our childhood and the type of bond we have with our parents, we will have to make a greater or lesser effort along the way to physical and emotional maturity. The biological and social ages do not always coincide; why this lack of synchrony? Why is it sometimes so difficult for us to mature?



Having taken on responsibilities that did not belong to us when we were little and seeing that the situation did not resolve in the way we wanted can deeply undermine self-esteem and awareness of one's abilities. It can become a drag on emotional growth.

Why do we sometimes resist growth?

Why do some people find it so hard to mature? There are many reasons that push us to remain in eternal youth (a condition otherwise known as "Peter Pan Syndrome"). In the first place, society leads us to want to remain perfect, beautiful and young at heart forever.

Secondly, sometimes the emotional wounds of our childhood lead us to drag with us unfinished business and remain wounded children who do not want to let the adult pass free. We continue to reclaim parts of our childhood or we would at least like to get out of it without deep wounds. These unsolved problems manifest themselves in our present. You must understand that during the childhood stage it is easier to avoid responsibilities, and to feel in a comfortable and familiar area, than to explore unknown spaces.

What are the characteristics of the adult unable to grow up?

The typical characteristics of an adult who does not want to grow up are different; here are the main ones:

  • He has needs that were unsatisfied during his childhood and continually tries to compensate for them in the present.
  • He feels guilty, be it overt or hidden, for the things he does, says and feels. She has a hard time distinguishing herself from her parents or partner.
  • He exaggerates his own needs, which usually turn into addictions or needs for immediate gratification.
  • It needs to continually fill itself with stimuli and can be very dependent on others or very independent (even if behind independence, there is the need to be noticed and recognized).
  • He represses his emotions and buries them inside himself, or he does the opposite and turns them into a roller coaster he can't control.
  • He expects a lot from others; he can also give a lot, but usually expecting something in return.
  • It keeps alive within itself the wounds of abandonment and rejection experienced in childhood.

Guilt prevents us from maturing

Imagine a child with parents in full separation. In this circumstance, the child is likely to activate certain behaviors to avoid the breakup of the family unit and, if this fails, he will assume part of the responsibility for what happened. A responsibility that, in the face of failure, will transform into a sense of guilt, into a weight that does not belong to him and that can end up slowing down its development.

The injured child lives in the body of an adult and is "frozen" in time. His age doesn't matter, may be 25, 38 or 60 years old. The sense of guilt is very latent in the child dressed as an adult with little emotional maturity.

The child experiences an unhealthy sense of guilt that leads him to think that he is responsible for everything that happens to him. This load that he carries on his shoulders is not real, even if he experiences it as such. If, when we become adults, we cannot manage our sense of guilt, we will have great problems taking on our responsibilities in everyday life.

What is the way to reach emotional maturity?

To reach emotional maturity, we will have to deal with guilt and not avoid it. Managing it will be the key to continuing to grow in the relationship we have with emotions, both with our own and with those of others.

To begin digesting the sense of guilt, it is necessary to experience the pain of the child we have inside, not avoiding it, but going through it and feeling it in a full and conscious way. When we are able to leave behind the backpack containing our history of the past, the sense of guilt will turn into a healthy responsibility that will lead us to mature.

“Self-confidence comes with maturity, with self-acceptance”.

(Nicole Scherzinger)

The courage to be adults

The art of becoming healthy adults doesn't just require the ability to take on different roles in life (worker, partner, child, etc.), it goes much further. We must take a leap into the unknown, acquire our own identity, which must be different from that of the parents. You have to put your expectations aside and start doing things yourself.

If we value ourselves and accept ourselves for who we are, the experience of life will spontaneously lead us towards adulthood (the mental one). What gives us wings to be adults is the freedom to live our present with awareness and acceptance of real circumstances.

Here, then, are some tips for turning into independent adults: stop being victims, avoid complaining constantly and leave the past behind. Only by bringing out the courage and taking a step into the unknown can we begin to be masters of our life.

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