Emotional maturity

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When we're younger, and as we move into early adulthood, most of us have the naive expectation that life will go exactly as we plan, and often it does. But the more life we live, the more likely it is that we'll experience the uncomfortable realisation that so much of what we thought we could control is, in fact, uncontrollable.

Accepting that so much of life is random, that so much of what we considered to be solid & dependable, is in fact fleeting and changeable, must be one of life's challenges.

Relationships change, our priorities change, jobs come and go, we age, our health waxes and wanes, our grandparents die. So much of life is beyond our immediate control. Life delivers things we didn't ask for and don't want, and stubbornly refuses to give to us things that we desperately desire.

Part of becoming emotionally mature involves accepting that we can't always get our own way, that life doesn't always deliver exactly what we want, and that people can sometimes disappoint us, and being ok with all of that.

Coming to these realisations without becoming hardened or embittered can be a great challenge, but allows us to open to life as it is rather than how we want it to be.

Treating ourselves (and those around us) with great kindness as we come to accept some of the more unpalatable aspects of life, makes the journey much sweeter. Indeed, the ability to treat ourselves with kindness, to be gentle with ourselves when we're experiencing pain, is a sign of maturity in itself.

What's been your experiences of dealing with life's curveballs? And can you see any differences in the way your younger self dealt with these challenges, as opposed to how you manage them now?