When did you grow up?
When you were young there was a time when your parents began to say “You’re a grown up now”, just to advertise to you that some sort of privilege was gone and you had to learn to do things on your own. But in reality, I guess no one ever explained to you specifically what “growing up”meant beyond stopping getting access to mum and dad’s bed on Sunday mornings or no longer being escorted to school or sports activities by your parents.
Yet growing up is quite a serious matter and someone should take the responsibility to make it clear what this means. When we become adults, even when we become senior citizens, a huge number of us have still never grown up. I’m not saying this because they have maintained a jovial, playful and childlike attitude, but simply because they have never wanted to take full responsibility for their personal and private evolution.
What I'm beginning to understand very clearly is that growing up is an inner work. It doesn’t simply mean taking responsibility for running your life independently from the economic or emotional support of your family. It means understanding the meaning of your life and your presence on this planet in relation to all other living beings that are touching your life. Growing up from this perspective is “self-knowledge” and with this comes freedom and autonomy of thought and choice.
Growing up then implies taking your own path with confidence and joy, being aware of your direction, but also ready to be surprised by the wonder and richness of life. Growing up is understanding that you are equipped with a body that defines you spatially and a mind that tends to imprison you in self-images; but you are bigger than these, you are the flow of life that inhabits this skin and this mind and as such you have a personal power that goes beyond the size of your basic physical endowments. Growing up is really getting in tune with your enormous freedom and inner grandiosity and stopping believing or being blinded by the stereotypes that populate your existence.
As such, there is no specific age at which to grow up. It took me a lifetime. And I still feel quite at the beginning of this exciting discovery of my true potential.
But the wonderful thing that is happening to me these days is that I’m coming across grown up kids. Boys and girls who are not old enough to be really grown up, but are more grown up than many adults I know. This is such an exciting discovery; it gives me the proof that there is a huge evolutionary transformation in place, all of humanity is changing, and these kids are messengers of a miracle beyond the pain and suffering that we face in our society every day.