What makes a grown-up? Or a spiritually evolved, enlightened person?
Is it someone who never swears in traffic or gets overwhelmed with big life challenges or sends out invites to the pity party of the century?
It’s easy to tell someone “you shouldn’t feel that way” when you’re outside the situation. Perhaps one measure of a grown up is allowing others to feel their feelings, and staying with them while they do.
My sister-in-law has a wonderful measure for her kids (now grown and having kids of their own): it’s okay to feel what you feel, it’s not okay to dump it all over everyone else.
So what happens when you dump your feelings all over everyone else?
Maybe it’s a measure of how much you’re trying to carry. Maybe it’s a measure of how uncomfortable your feelings are.
How about you give yourself a big bundle of credit for being emotionally honest? And then find the grown-ups in your life who will let you experience your feelings in the safety and support of their non-judgemental presence, until you’ve finished the process.
Perhaps spiritual evolution and enlightenment includes the knowledge that sometimes life really truly sucks – or, as a beloved friend, long gone, used to say: this pounds sand! Or is incomprehensible. Or hurts like hell. Another acquaintance wisely advises that we keep on going straight through hell, rather than taking the scenic route. Sometimes even the direct route seems endless.
Sometimes spiritually evolved, enlightened beings are drowning in their severe challenges. At the very same time that they’re looking and acting like a drowning rat, they are spinning off brilliant responses to those challenges, creating their new selves, blinding us with the beauty of that creativity.
Grown-ups, spiritually evolved and enlightened people, can contain the paradox.