"Oh, Grow Up" Ten Tasks for Mature Wisdom

by Dr. Michael Obsatz – 2017

Many of the problems in our culture and across the world come from the fact that adults in leadership positions and their followers lack maturity, wisdom, compassion, and spiritual connection. Many leaders and their followers remain in a childhood trauma system which they believe renders them powerless.  Others who feel this way try to hide this by demanding power over others, becoming abusive and violent.  This includes people who rise to power politically, personally, or organizationally.

Here are ten steps to growing up, becoming mature, and connecting spiritually: 

1. Unhook from your biological or adopted family’s definition of who you are and should be.  This means not letting old ideas about you control your life.  It means healing whatever wounds exist from childhood.  That includes shame, abandonment issues, attachment issues, neglect, physical, emotional and sexual abuse.  Books about this include Bradshaw’s “Healing the Shame that Binds You,” Whitfield’s “Healing the Child Within,” and Miller’s “The Drama of the Gifted Child.”

2. Letting go of defenses that you needed as a child which no longer serve you.  This includes recovering from addictions of any kind.  Grieve the loss of those defenses, and honor how they helped you survive against overwhelming odds.  Develop ways of coping with life, feelings, experiences without them.  Learn to trust selectively.  A book about this is Vanzant’s “Trust.”

3.  Unhook from cultural pressures to define your worth by doing and achieving — and suppressing your own needs, feelings, desires, hopes and dreams.  In other words, challenge assumptions about who you are supposed to be as a man or woman.  The “culture of never enough” is in Brown’s “The Gifts of Imperfection.” Women and men’s liberation books are helpful, as well as Schaef’s “When Society Becomes an Addict.”  Gender role stereotypes and other unhealthy cultural messages are everywhere.

4.  Find your inner beauty and wholeness.  Discover your spiritual purpose — why you are here on earth. Become centered spiritually, and know your own goodness and divinity.  Find practices that encourage your going within, such as yoga, prayer, meditation.  Watch your thoughts, language and actions — make them positive rather than negative — life-affirming rather than life-denying.  Be grateful for what you have.  Forgive yourself and others.  That does not mean confronting others in person, or reconciling with them.

5.  Let go of abusive, controlling people.  Create a new spiritual family and community that supports your wholeness.  Create clear boundaries about what behaviors and attitudes are unacceptable for you to be around.  Set limits on any time spent with negative people. Participate in your new community with love, compassion, and positive energy.

6.  Find a strategy for making enough money so you can live a comfortable lifestyle.  Be strategic in your dealings with bosses, co-workers, and clients.  Say your truth in safe places, and navigate the world with care. There are many traps and tyrants out there.  Be careful about your choices and actions.  Pay attention, be mindful, and be accountable.  Live in integrity.  In safe places, vent whatever feelings you wish to vent. Make sure you have quiet time away from the stress of the world.

7.  Dedicate your life to creating more love and peace in the world.  Find a passion, and a cause.  Do something to make the world better.  At the same time, realize that you are not going to rid the world of its suffering.  Be realistic.  Put out the good energy, the love, the compassion, and let go of the results.  Two good books about this include Ruiz’s “The Four Agreements” and Richo’s “The Five Things We Cannot Change.”

8.   Appreciate your body, your physical and sexual self.  Keep your body in shape, with exercise, healthy food choices.  Use your sexuality in ways that enhance your life, and the lives of others.  In other words, do not engage in frivolous sexual interactions. Respect the sexuality and boundaries of others.  If you have one sexual partner, be respectful, ask for what you want.  Work to create harmony and mutual sharing in your sexual interaction with your partner.  Watch the quality of your sexual language and thoughts.  Don’t make sexual jokes.  Don’t put anyone down. Be respectful of all men and women, boys and girls.  Accept people from a variety of sexual orientations without judging them.  Use your personal power for good, not to dominate or harass anyone else.

9. If you have children, love and guide them. But as they get older, realize that you cannot control their lives. Give them tools to cope, and be there to support them. They are gifts from the Spirit, and on their own journeys. Coloroso’s “Kids Are Worth It” is a great resource.

10. Live fully, play, be spontaneous. Know that life is a miracle to be cherished and enjoyed. Everything changes and ends, and we all will transition into a different realm. We are spiritual beings having a human experience. Don’t sweat the small stuff.

These ten steps can help you live into your wholeness and amazing potential.  

Good luck on your journey.

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