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For some reason I used to think that as you grew older, you just became wiser, better, less child-like. Of course in some instances that is simply not the case. It’s true to some extent you do mature as you grow older, but time and again I am reminded that if we don’t press toward the mark, we will slack in areas we know we need to change. As the years pass on, there can be areas of our life that demonstrate atrophied behavior more reflective of someone much younger. Don’t you know people in your life — friends, family, neighbors, coworkers — who just really need to grow up? There are many hallmarks of immaturity: Selfishness, arrogance, jealousy, anger, greed, materialism, narcissism, etc.

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Immaturity is expected in the very young, but we can’t hang out in the crib forever.

Most Americans are familiar with the character from The Simpsons named Maggie. It’s hard to believe that show has been on TV since 1987. And the one characteristic that has stood out about Maggie’s character is that she has never become an adult. She still crawls around and sucks on a pacifier. But Maggie would actually be 26 years old this year. Are there areas that we are still crawling around in, acting way too silly and infantile when we should be more mature and well…grown up. Babies have little to no impulse control. From their mouths to their bowels, they will let it all go. I don’t want to be so blunt, but it’s the truth. If we as adults were still sucking on pacifiers or wearing a diaper, would we be so comfortable to display such signs of arrested development?

Maggie_Simpson

Do people point out that you’re selfish, you always tell people what to do, or you need to be more responsible? Sometimes it’s hard to hear criticism. But I think we need to humble ourselves enough to really listen. Maybe there is something to what people are pointing out. Judge if it’s mean-spirited or based on some bit of truth. Time passes by so swiftly and some actions that seemed understandable are no longer acceptable for grown people. Some loved ones might dare to tell us about ourselves, but do we have ears to hear it? Nobody likes labels, but when the shoe fits you may very well be worthy of the title: Gossipmonger, instigator, liar, cheater…

So are we ready to grow up? I know one particular trait I need to change right away. This issue is something I’ve had a problem with for a number of years, but it’s really time to be more aware of my actions and offer a better me to others and myself. To change, we have to make deliberate effort. It has to be intentional. Just like resistance training, you have to move out of the comfort zone or you begin to plateau and desired results just become a far-away fantasy. Enlist someone you trust as an accountability partner and try keeping a notebook or journal to write about the challenges and the victories–great and small–you are making as you grow. I pray we develop progress in areas that have been barren and dry for far too long.

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