The mark of the immature man is that he wants to die nobly for a cause, while the mark of the mature man is that he wants to live humbly for one. ~ J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye
Growing up is hard, love. Otherwise everyone would do it. ~ Kim Harrison, Pale Demon
It is our responsibility as nations and citizens to take care of each other and this planet we inhabit. But all too often it seems we forget that we have any say or power or control over our lives and environment as we go along in our daily routines — Mother Nature has her way with us; radical terrorists and out-of-control law enforcement use violence in extreme ways to threaten us physically and psychologically here and abroad; our government legislates what we should eat, think, and do with our bodies; and corporations use advertising, lobbying and Hollywood tell us who we are, what we should buy, believe in, and vote for, and what we should or should not be doing with our time, money and energy.
And in our private lives, we tend to rely on others — whether your parents, spouses and partners, friends, doctors, teachers, boss, news outlets and conventional wisdom — more than we should, and are more overwhelmed and distracted than ever with the consumption of digital media via accompanying gadgets/appendages. As a result, we forget we can have a unique opinion, make more conscious decisions that go against the grain, and above all think for ourselves rather than just absorb and digest (literally and metaphorically) what is being offered, served, or shoved down our throats.
When you’re a child, you generally have no choice or don’t know better and have to accept the status quo of whatever the adults around you say goes, but as you get older it’s time to check in and ask yourself, Who’s Your Daddy now?
Relationships are the glue that hold the world together and gives meaning to our lives; they include our relationship to ourselves, each other, our country, the Earth, and the Universe/God/Higher Power/ Nature. But when we allow a relationship to anyone or anything outside ourselves to be the ultimate authority over us — whether with a parent, child, friend, the government, social media or zeitgeist — we are giving up our individual power to control our destiny and prevent ourselves from emotionally maturing. These are the types of unhealthy dependent relationships, rather than healthy interdependent ones, that are causing our planet to fall apart.
Growing up means taking responsibility for every aspect of your life. Many of us prefer to remain in a half-baked adulthood that never really evolves to its full potential because we are too busy or distracted to see who is really in control — and because it’s easier to pop a pill or let someone else take care of it. But it requires courage, elbow grease, and internal effort every step of the way to be who we are truly meant to be.
We all have to do our part to take ownership of our environment, health, and happiness in mind, body and spirit. No one else can do this for us. By becoming stronger in who you are you can then use our full power and potential to help those who cannot yet help themselves, and create structures and systems from microcosm to macrocosm that will support a sustainable and peaceful life no matter who you are or where you are from.
Still feeling like a Toys ‘R Us kid? Give me a buzz and I’ll help you mature into a full-fledged self-mama or self-papa (without losing that essential childlike sense of play!) so that we can create a global village of audacious authentic adults.
Originally published on kristinaleonardi.com on September 25, 2014
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