Growing Up is Also About Coping with What has Hurt You
Maturity isn’t a question of age, it’s a question of having the courage to face the changes and also the fears that bind you and prevent you from being happy
Growing up isn’t just about celebrating birthdays or seeing a wrinkle under your eyes when you smile. Growing up means overcoming difficulties and acquiring wisdom that helps you become stronger, freer, and happier.
Something that everyone knows is that sometimes, time itself isn’t enough to heal your wounds or alleviate your fears.
Even though the years go by, today you may still harbor grudges against certain people or be afraid of certain situations that in the past have caused you harm.
Growing up means also being able to enjoy the moment when you finally confront your demons face to face, and are able to smile at them without pain.
It’s a kind of wisdom that everyone can achieve by overcoming their fears and limiting attitudes. Let’s find out how.
Growing up, the art of being emotionally free
Life experiences don’t come just from turning 30, 40, 50, or 70 years old. There are people who in spite of having lived many decades, they still don’t understand what it means to achieve that calm, inner balance that comes with emotional maturity.
Perhaps now you’re about to ask: but…is it necessary to suffer in order to learn?.
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The answer is no: it’s not a requirement that you must suffer in order to learn. Happiness is also a great teacher because it reveals what things are most important to you, what pleased you, what gives you real value in life.
What often happens is that suffering is what compels you to react. You could describe that emotional pain you experience as a transition to being “reborn,” to open the doors of opportunity after suffering.
We invite you to reflect on this subject.
Your brain doesn’t know how to be happy
Maybe this statement got your attention. Biologist like Estanislao Bachrach, an expert on cerebral neuroplasticity, have shown that the only thing that matters to our brains is survival.
- Happiness is something that we always aspire toward, generation after generation.
- So far, throughout this evolutionary chain of genetic changes and improvements, humans haven’t yet achieved the ability to be inherently happy.
- Your brain is more interested in learning to survive, and fear is always the great facilitator for learning.
“I wouldn’t dare to cross the street on a red light because I’ll get run over,” or “That person scares me because I know they can hurt me,” or “I’m afraid of flying because I’m sure I will die.”
Fear helps guarantee your survival, but at the same time it clips the wings of your opportunities to be happy. This is something curious to reflect upon.
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In order to grow up, you must be able to change
One of the most effective ways to promote emotional maturity is to know how to adapt to changes, and even look forward to them.
- If there’s something you don’t like, it’s better to leave and search for something better.
- If a situation makes you unhappy, it’s time to change it.
- If you have an attitude that you don’t like and it keeps you from achieving your goals, you need to change it.
Growing up means not only being able to take certain steps to improve yourself personally, but to get rid of those fears, which while they help you stay alive don’t bring you any happiness.
You might be wondering why it’s so difficult for people to change.
- People associate change with pain, and no one likes to be in pain.
- Change requires that you develop certain skills and strategies for which many people think they are not prepared.
- Change always goes hand in hand with fear, that instinct that tells you that “you’re better off staying where you are, even if you’re unhappy you’re at least surviving.”
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This is the wrong attitude. Happiness is the absence of fear, and growing up means that you can smile at what hurt you because you no longer have fear, because it no longer means anything to you.
You must accept that change isn’t necessarily traumatic. Life itself is already a process in which change is always implied. All you need to do is let yourself be carried away, without resistance.