What makes a man or a woman become…mature? And is there any such thing as spiritual maturity? We hardly think in those terms these days.
How does a child become a woman, or become a man? Are we talking about a physical appearance: years of living? Height? Having a job, career, or profession? Getting married? Having a family? All of those things are are merely symptoms of becoming a man or woman, but what makes a woman or a man become a woman or a man?
When I was a young girl, my parents may have shared with me how to “grow up” and be a decent woman, but what does that mean to a child? How does a young child, or teen-ager, or even a young adult understand the concept of “putting away childish things, and becoming a ‘grown-up’ man or woman?” I will give you a hint: it has to do with changes in one’s life, apart from being the child one is, and having the ability to realize the comparison to what a parent taught, and what the child is experiencing.
Suddenly, a choice is at hand, and it’s up to that “child” to make decisions. But that alone isn’t enough. That ‘child,’ becoming, has to experience the consequences of the decisions made, otherwise she or he has missed a “learning” that would lead one closer to maturity.I remember an experience and a choice I had once.
The first choice I remember having was a response I made to a traumatic experience with a babysitter who held my hands under a faucet and burned them. Her two twin sons also abused me. My mother could not understand why I screamed and begged and cried when she took me to be cared for by this woman, as my mother had to work.
I was only two years old, but I was trying to make a stand here, and I had consequences for my choosing: I was there only two days, and my mother–God bless her–decided to stop taking me to that woman. So my response reaped good consequences. I don’t know if it reaped good consequences for my mother, as I do not remember from that point where I went, but since I don’t have a memory of it, I assume it was pleasant enough. So I learned something that day, but it would take more than once for me to compare, analyze and make sense of it. I was two years old, for goodness sakes.
If you have ever considered the choices or responses you made in all sorts of situations and circumstances: being abused, running away, stealing, having friends that were cruel, being cruel yourself! Even having children, marriage, taking a certain job, going out with various groups of people, studying for a test or copying someone else’s… all these things have built-in choices to which we are prone to respond and act accordingly. All these things have consequences. Maybe you haven’t grown mature enough to recognize them, but they do have consequences.
Some people especially, have to have major life-changing consequences for them to recognize the choices that brought these people to that point. Sometimes, it’s not even your choice but someone else’s and it affects your life. NOW, you have a choice. If bitterness or resentment or un-forgiveness has been your response for a choice, you haven’t yet understood the consequences are directly related to your choices. So now, everything that happens afterward are colored by the choice of perception you made by that traumatic event. That is to say, that even the worst consequences that seem like you had nothing to do with, are somehow tied to your responses, and if you think not, then they are tied to your perceptions now.
If you cannot believe me here, maybe you’ve got some more maturity to get to, before believing me. I know there is a lot more growth I have to do too, but I’ve done some and acquired maturity just from the major consequences I’ve experienced through my choices and decisions in certain things. Some of them will never get better because I was immature at the time, to make the right choices. I’ve learned a lot from my mistakes, is that easier to comprehend?
Why else do you think Jesus said, when he was being abused, tortured, and slowly killed: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” It is obvious he knew those who had fear in their hearts, so much so that they would make irrational choices and decisions. He knew the hearts and minds of those who made authoritative and created ways to silence people they feared. Jesus knew they did not have the spiritual maturity to understand their own fears and hatreds … today we might call it racism, bigotry, or something like that, but even those like that should be understood and given empathy and compassion.
Why else do you think that Jesus came. He also knew humans are reflective and create recordation of their history, their feats, and even their failures. Sooner or later, we’d all get it. Now that’s the kind of maturity I want–that’s the only kind that will make this a better world. I think the whole purpose for this kind of maturity is to teach us empathy and compassion so that we can have that same kind of empathy and compassion Jesus displayed while being brutally murdered by by frightened, self-aggrandizing immature souls.
FATHER, forgive us… we sometimes don’t realize what we’re doing.
Does Alice in Wonderland apply to Adults?
The answer? A resounding YES.
Why is it that the entire massive educated world assumes that the number of years one lives is the correct depiction of one’s maturity level? That is not true. We all are listening to different drummers, detect varied rhythms, have ear for syncopation or not, construe meaning from various beats and pauses. Of course I’m speaking in metaphor, and everyone knows every person has different experiences in childhood that determines what kind of adult one may be or will be.
This is why the story “Alice in Wonderland” is so meaningful and transcends generations. It speaks to the evolution from childhood to adulthood, and the many pitfalls, as well as benefits one may or may not choose, see, or stumble upon.
The Hippie generation would like to say it is all about drugs, but that is not true. It may be their drummer they listened to at that time, but it’s much more than drugs or any particular component in one’s zeitgeist, that appeals only to their personal subjective experience. Alice in Wonderland is an objective, albeit romanticized to some extent, but objective perspective, nonetheless.
Every human being, in every generation since the beginning of recorded history goes through a progressive evolution that changes their character, their personal perspective and view of life, their personality strengths or weaknesses, their understanding of others. Every aspect of their being in some way or another, changes. And if they do not follow the timeline as educational scientists like Piaget established in the educational forum https://youtu.be/mjp01fveeuI, it is because they are speaking of cognitive development only, which does not work exclusively from emotional growth. This needs more research, but is considered so minutely significant, that it would take someone like me to research, develop and write about it, which is why I’m initiating this discussion here. If the emotional aspect of human beings is not included in the cognitive component, the cognitive timeline does not work.
Thus, the discussion here is about the progressive timeline of a person’s natural growth, but not just the physical and the cognitive, but also the emotional. There must be a reason why we were made with all of these components, and I think they lead to the spiritual realm as well, but scientists definitely know absolutely nothing of the abstract world, nor are they interested. This is why I have not such a great respect and awe for science as many proclaim to have absolutely. Science is good yes, but so is the side unseen, which is necessary to the whole development of the human being.
“Alice is engaged in a romance quest for her own identity and growth, for some understanding of logic, rules, the games people play, authority, time, and death.”
Eds. Charles Frey and John Griffin
Blog Written by: Lydia Nolan, M. Ed., English
I am a real estate broker. Although this website is mostly about my writing, I still have the ability to help people make significant changes in their lives, by changing their homes, location, and overall lifestyle, through selling their present house, or helping purchase their new home.
But nothing is more UN-inspiring than to interview for a home to be listed into the real estate market, and to experience its cluttered feeling. Filled with junk, beautiful things, and memorabilia; all of which, yes, holds significance to the potential seller, but some of it is not conducive either to your emotional/mental health, or your physical health. And sometimes, the whole reason one feels the need to sell—outside of the obvious reasons, like foreclosure, job move, divorce, death, and the like—is because they feel overwhelmed in their own house!!
So let’s start with the Physical clutter.
My side business is a natural talent to me. I like to RE-organize tight spaces, and move items, furniture, desks, papers, whatever—I like to organize messes! These days, there are many people who do this, including those who call themselves to the task of staging a home for sale, by organizing and/or eliminating material, furniture, and/or nic-nacs that simply have no reason for displaying them in the sale of a home. These people who help organize and re-organize everything are phenomenal people, indeed. But there is one thing we should consider.
I have thought about this for many years. I really LOVE to organize. It’s a special mental process: 1) assess the area, 2) plan change, and 3) change… 4) reconsider the changes, and re-do if need be.
I love this. I don’t know why, it’s in my nature, I must suppose. But I realized another thing about this. Just taking over and changing and organizing or re-organizing things for people is simply NOT ENOUGH. They need to know how, and why, and to perform these things themselves. THAT is a hard job for most of these stagers. One needs to be very good at four things: 1) empathy, 2) communication, 3) instruction 4) inspiration. I happen to have these qualities, which makes me wonder if this could actually be a … shall we say … Calling?
Actually the activity is NOT the calling. The Calling is called “Helps,” and its actually one of the fruits of the spirit of God. Amazing isn’t it! So it truly is a calling and not just a busy-body pursuit.
I am starting a business. It’s to reorganize peoples’ homes BEFORE they sell, and maybe once they LEARN how to organize their … stuff… they may even not care about moving. I’m into making a living of course, but I’d rather make a living helping people work in what they already have, than to move, and remake the mess. So… anyone want to be my all-encompassing client? Consultation includes:
Sales consultation of costs, vs. Reorganization costs.
Let’s see if people even realize what they need, I think that has always been the biggest problem: people do not realize what they can do to make their lives better. It does not always mean they need to move. By the way, Happy Halloween! It’s coming, and along with it… MESSINESS and DISORGANIZATION! But don’t worry, I’m here to help.
“The clock is running…” I remember a teacher saying to the students—of which I was one—all the time, no matter what we were doing. Be it taking a test, running into class, doing desk work, guessing an answer, leaving her room at the end of the day, she was always reminding us that time is running.
Time is always running. Of course, since she said it so often we took the phrase for granted and waited until the very last moment to hustle. Now that I’m older I understand the validity of that phrase about time. Time is always running, and it reveals the truth about life and the responsibility we take for it. Time is also segmented so that we can pace ourselves, so we don’t suddenly have to hustle at the last minute.
We are all on the clock. No matter where we come in, where we came from, we are moving within time. This sounds philosophical, but what does anyone expect from an HSP? (Hyper-Sensitive Personality). Clearly, time is a backdrop in life, but if one is truly observant, and not only observant, but reflective, one will realize—hopefully, sooner than late—that the thread of existence that keeps us all within a course meant to create a slow-making awareness within us like evolution of the soul, can be the most valuable asset or the most horrible realization at the end.
I realize now—only too late, of course—that time is a precious commodity and should have been used better in my own life. But some do not realize this immediately, and some are acutely unaware of it in the background, thinking only their momentous drama is what counts. Some never realize time is running, and that is a misfortune.
I learned the awareness of time late in my life, which is why I was not one of the smart ones, who knew its force and power, and set myself to plan out my life carefully. Sure, I worked toward specific goals, but I should have planned that by a certain age drama and trivial pursuits should be released for more valuable opportunities that would have helped to get me where I needed to get, by a specific frame of time in order to be prepared for the physical reduction that comes in later years.
Now, I am quite late in the bloom of my life, nearly to the end as far as beauty and height in flowering, and I realize how many wasted years I spent dilly-dallying around, carrying on with useless drama, with this situation and that issue, and this person, and that broken-hearted memory, all in the guise of moving forward through time, but I was at a standstill, while time kept running. It was I who stopped moving in time, and time was still running… the clock was running, and sooner or late it would stop for me, of which I was never aware.
Every day is a precious moment for choosing what one must do to make it to the next moment and the next, and like a journey, assess the location in time where one finds oneself. I don’t mean one needs to rush through, or hurry the pace. Just make every moment an awareness of a chain of events in moments. Assess what is being done and make good choices—I did not. Now, I live from day to day, wondering if tomorrow I will have another chance at an opportunity that will benefit me, and at the same time not overburden my family, keep me steady and healthy on the treadmill of life, and make my life a sense of accomplishment. Everyone wants to feel they have played their cards well, as well as they can play them. But not everyone realizes that it is time that teaches us what we have accomplished—time is always running…make the most of it, or you will find yourself only DREAMING of what it could have been, instead of having it be.
14 I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well.
Yesterday, I was driving about, when I had an epiphany about people in general; and then, about myself in particular.
Every car, bus, truck, and motorcycle—of which I suddenly became acutely aware—were all suddenly metal or titanium vessels in which human bodies rode within.
These human beings with physicality harbored all the DNA details, desires and disturbances in the physical body, all that which thrives upon the hopes and dreams and happiness and despair of the human body’s reaction to the rest of the world.
These physical bodies hold more deeply within the soul and energy (spirit) of the beings, the truth of those reactions and responses.
It was amazing to watch all these bodies of energy and souls moving in directions, keeping steady paces with their cars, all following the lights and rules for pedestrians, regulations for turns, and guides on roads, highways, freeways, streets, and in parking lots at stores, post offices, and shopping centers, etc—knowing full well, that their minds and souls were interacting with memories and joyous or traumatic events that occurred in their lives, and I was blown over by the reality of this phenomenon. The metal or matter with which they were surrounded disappeared and I saw them gliding through movements, intently looking forward to wherever they planned to go. Some of those bodies I envisioned crying or laughing, or going through funerals or weddings, or going to the doctor, and on and on and on. I saw all these people, and I was overwhelmed by emotion and felt that tinge that tells all of us when tears are about to display the slight pain in our hearts—the pain of compassion and empathy.
Not everyone goes through this, but those who are hypersensitive to the world around them, like myself, like the few “HSPs” (hypersensitive personalities) that witness such epiphanies and come to some sort of resolve within their spirit. Even some HSPs do not go that far. They simply experience the epiphany and leave it at that. But those of us who are deeply affected by this type of personality know what happens next.
I suddenly realized I was one of the many doing exactly as others were doing, and I felt emotional because I had snapshots going on in my head while driving, of my daughter’s dilemma, my sons’ decisions, my husband’s inability to understand me, my own inability to make myself known; those I loved, who died, and I missed so terribly, and those who were born recently that I prayed God would be merciful to, since they too, would become one of us. Do you think this is all I thought about? No.
I realized that we had laws in place for drunk drivers, text-ers, teen-age new drivers, and so forth, but! We had nothing in place for those who are thinking so intently (as I was) and make mistakes on the road because of it. I realized that many of our “accidents” on the road is particularly the fault of our not paying attention because we are working out scenarios in our minds, and feeling the emotions that are attached to such scenarios. I realized this because I am one of the many, and therefore, that makes me an expert in human behavior.
Next, I began to compare the differences in distractions during being on the road. Drunk driving is all its own problem, as well as having taken sleeping pills or pot, or taking hyperactive or diet pills—essentially any mind altering drug: all these are or should be in the same category because the natural mind is altered, and cannot be relied upon to do the same and act the same as when it is in its natural state. Therefore, there ought to be (as there is) severe punishment for these people who think it’s okay to spread their need to alter themselves upon innocent bystanders who do NOT take anything but are effected just the same by drinking and drugs, through translation.
Next, I began to consider the difference between texting and mind altering drugs. The difference is that the person may be in his or her natural state, but they are distracted by messages that could actually change their mood from dark to light, or visa-versa, nonetheless, changing and distracting from the energy to PAY ATTENTION to the road ahead. But here is the reality of texting in itself. Texting is not the actual problem—just the symptom. Distraction is the problem. I nearly hit a woman’s car on the side when she pulled adjacent to me, into my lane, while showing some kind of garment to her passenger. She did not even see my car next to her. I had to swerve. On the freeway, I have been thinking so deeply about one of my children, that I had entered another lane forgetting to look back AS WELL AS the rear view mirror due to a blind spot on my sports car. Thank GOD that person WAS paying attention, and SWERVED.
How do I tie all this together? Human beings are so amazing. They can interact with others as well as interacting with themselves at the same time. That means they are following rules on the road, parking lots, library and postal drop-offs, and so forth, and at the same time, be thinking about a host of issues in their lives. We truly are wonderfully made. But we truly are fearfully made too. There is a bible verse that talks about that.
To be fearfully made, the term “fearfully” has changed today, but back then, it meant to have respect for, or awe, or a great deal of honor to. To be wonderfully made is to admit that with all this great honor of a making, it is also greatly capable of so much.
So the POINT I wanted to make here is how little respect we have for each other in the world, yet how capable we are of making a courteous, respectful, and truly excellent world if we really tried to focus on that. Do not be distracted when other lives are at stake. Every time someone gets on the road they owe millions of others respect, courtesy, and kindness. A driver is not only affecting those other drivers but their families, friends, and even people that don’t know them yet, but should.
We all complain about losing people we love, whether by accidents, drunkenness, or just plain stupidity of themselves or someone else. But THINK: if every human body and soul were focused on what they should be focusing upon, there would not be distraction, and there could actually be less loss.
Thanks Mom and Dad, for teaching me Bible truths even before I understood them. It was for epiphanies like this one. 🙂