What’s the difference between a child and an adult? Puberty and a few years, that’s all.
Why is this important?
Because the idea that we are supposed to simply “act like adults” can be a very destructive one.
We become trained in the thinking that adults don’t do certain things, don’t have certain feelings, don’t think in certain immature ways. Generally, as adults we try not to behave like children… but so often, the bratty 4-year-old within comes roaring out whether we like it or not.
We tell ourselves “stop acting like a child,” and shut off any real critical thought about what the root of our childish behavior is. We try to smother the infantile fire burning inside and continue as before.
Except that frequently, this doesn’t work. Why?
When we are children, we have these uncontrollable needs that we often don’t understand. But we sure feel them. And we whine, or cry, or scream uncontrollably. Or maybe sulk and refuse to talk to anyone.
We do these things because we haven’t yet learned the skills needed to cope with these needs. Needs we may not even know exist. As children, we’re still learning how to talk, listen, read, and write. The deep self-analysis needed to understand oneself consciously has not yet been developed.
Well guess what? Much of the time, this is still the case when you are an adult. And often it doesn’t matter how well you can talk. It’s about how well you can communicate with your inner being.
Sure, we may know a lot of basic things about ourselves. But our interactions are more complex as adults. We have responsibilities, we have to look out for ourselves, and there is constant pressure to “act like an adult” all the time.
There are plenty of instances in which it is better to “act like an adult”–be focused, serious, emotionally cool and collected. In fact this is generally the best behavior for promoting positive energy during problematic or very unpleasant interactions.
However, if we leave no room for ourselves to act like little children at other times and don’t listen to our inner child when it begins to cry out, we cannot hope to master the skill of “acting like an adult.” Trying to stuff down what our most intimate intuitions are telling us is repressive, and self-repression will lead you away from positive energy.
Rather than clamming up and barreling forward, we should listen to what these episodes of helplessness tell us. What’s behind them?
After a while, once you make a habit of examining yourself when you feel weak, you may even begin to even do so out loud in front of another person. And this will help tremendously to clear things up, satisfy any doubt, and provide understanding to a situation in which you are not able to keep it together.
Through taking time to let your inner self come out, you will give your spirit the sacred time it needs to recover and get it together again, stronger than ever.