Learning lessons is a little like reaching maturity.
You're not suddenly more happy, wealthy, or powerful,
but you understand the world around you better, and you're at peace.
I believe that maturity is not an outgrowing, but a growing up:
that an adult is not a dead child, but a child who survived.
Ursula K. Le Guin
I like saying that at age 20, I was an amoeba of who I am today. I have grown by leaps and bounds in mind, body and spirit since then. I have come such a long way.
And yet, who I am has been there all along - it has just taken me this long to uncover her. It's like we are born whole and spend the rest of our lives trying to remember that - returning home to wholeness.
I see my younger self and I am grateful for what I know now. I wish I had known it then, of course. So I take full advantage of every bit of wisdom.
For me, growing into wholeness has meant relaxing my parent part - the part that drove me to be responsible and disciplined - and encouraging the baby part to come out to play more.
My relentless parent part helped me to achieve important goals but if allowed to reign supreme indefinitely, then my life would certainly become joyless.
My neglected baby part was highly restrained. The only indulgence allowed was in the area of food consumption. That took a toll on my body.
I am old enough (thankfully) to live a life in greater balance, to become as I was meant to be.
I feel like I have always been 65 inside and chronologically catching up to that age. Most of my life I have been overly responsible - even taking on problems that weren't mine. That took a toll. For me, growing up has meant taking on less responsibility for others and more responsibility for myself.
Aging is a series of gains and losses. I grieve and mourn what has been lost. I appreciate what I am gaining.
I play more.
I accept myself more.
I'm more honest with myself.
I take responsibility and pay more attention to my feelings and needs.
I take less and less responsibility for others.
I am more and more loving to myself.
I take baby steps followed by naps.
I am intuitive and trust my instincts.
I am not as naive but I am not cynical. I ask myself, "What's their angle and what's in my best interest?"
I see the good and the bad - because both exist side by side.
I follow the green lights and go with the flow more.
I take chances within limits.
I trust that things tend to work out.