To feel more free, more content and fulfilled in our lives and who we are, is something that we all want at all ages. From childhood on, we all have the instinct to search for happiness, well-being, a feeling of freedom and fulfillment. Whenever we find these elements are not in our lives, we feel frustrated, trapped and unfulfilled, and them life seems to lack meaning.
Emotional maturity consists of learning to live life while understanding our emotions. Whenever we understand something or we don’t know what to do with what we feel, it’s easy to start getting confused, to not know exactly how to act nor where to direct our reactions.
Not knowing what to do with anger, fear, desperation, depression, etc., causes rejection, avoidance, and negation of feelings. This makes our lives grow poorer and less nourishing. Whenever we get angry, for example, a lot of times we don’t know whether to scream at who’s standing in front of use, or repress what we feel. At the same time, we often times reject or contain what we feel out of fear, or feelings of sadness. We hold on to small offenses, we get confused because we don’t know exactly how to act and that makes us feel tied down, stuck and dependent on certain circumstances.
The beginning of emotional maturity
One of the first steps for maturing and sweetening our emotional world is to understand that we are responsible for everything we feel. The truth is, no one can make you happy if you, yourself, aren’t happy deep down. There may be people that you feel at ease with, or that bring you a certain amount of happiness, but this will always be fleeting if, deep down, you haven’t discovered how to feel at ease with yourself. If you haven’t found happiness in yourself, then you will search for it in others. You will expect others to meet your ideas of how they should behave, and you will depend on what they say, think and do to feel good.
Therefore, becoming responsible for what you feel implies a change in the way you see happiness: if you want for someone else to give you either attention, understanding, admiration, time, etc., then you will never be happy and you will frequently get angry at things that don’t live up to what you had wanted. You will feel pain when people of experiences that you love, grow distant or disappear from your life.
In order to make the emotional energy from your anger become more subtle, you will have to start by learning more about the people you live with, rather than always trying to educate them or tell them what they need to do or how they need to behave. Anger occurs when you try to change someone else, rather than changing yourself.
To practice, you could start by observing everything that makes you mad. Observe what angers or irritates you, and then see how each time, you were expecting something from someone, and then got angry. Do you know why you got angry? Because you needed that person to come and make you happy, to live up to your expectations. Because if you were already happy, you wouldn’t have to expect anything from anyone else, and you would simply accept them as they are and share your happiness. Also, if you were happy, you would not attract such unbearable people to your life, like those that are around you. You always attract to your life whatever equals yourself. So start by changing yourself, stop fixing the lives of everyone else around you and using your energy to fix the world and the things that are “wrong”. Start by changing your world and learn to observe better. Recognize your weaknesses and your creative abilities to give yourself everything you’ve dreamed about.
An emotionally mature individual is one who:
- Controls their energy and knows how to command his/her reactions.
- Understands how the mind functions and does not feel guilty or the victim of circumstances, but rather the creator of everything in their lives. They feel capable of transforming what they don’t like.
- Recognizes their weaknesses without feeling attacked.
- Does not create conflict or react aggressively when criticized, because they already know that about themselves.
- Does not believe all flattery because they are conscious of what they are, and know what they need to transform and strengthen.
- Becomes angry but recognizes that their anger is their own, and they are the ones who must transform it.
- Recognizes their fears and worries, and sets out to create themselves more and more each day.
- Wakes up content every day, knowing that the day has yet to be made and they start building it with the attitudes they hold throughout the day.
- Sleeps peacefully and trusts in the wonder inside themselves, and the universe.