1) With fully developed powers of body and mind; 2) Adult; 3) Sensible, wise.
Reject conformity. Emotional and spiritual maturity is not necessarily about being a rebel. But it does require a certain comfort with who you are on the inside rather than always worrying about what those around you are thinking, or projecting the consequences of your own behaviour on others because it is too difficult to take responsibility for yourself.
Resolve your past. Resolving one’s past (family life, upbringing, sibling relationships, past marriages) is first. For every bad experience there is a positive lesson to take away. Examine who and what is preventing you from putting the past into perspective and moving toward the future confident and masterful in having forgiven and moved on.
Let go of negative experiences. Each lesson in life, no matter how hard won, must be seen as only that – a lesson. And a lesson must be learned. Once learned, one has a better chance of avoiding repeating those episodes in the future. Not that there won’t always be issues that arise from time to time. Rather, it is about not hanging onto the negative experiences of our lives.
Hold up the “mirror of examination” to your own actions. Soul-inspiring leaders take true responsibility for their impact on others. They do not feign accountability, all the while making others wrong. They examine their own limiting beliefs and realize that one finger pointing toward others means three fingers are pointing in their direction. They consider: “What are those three fingers pointing at in me?”
Get comfortable inside your own skin. This aspect of emotional and spiritual maturity is about investing time and energy to conquer personal ‘demons’ and thereby actually start to enjoy one’s own company. By cultivating awareness of their own souls, leaders start to earn the right to be called mature, for they have taken the courageous steps to be at peace with themselves.
Travel courageously inward. Rather than always wanting to run away from yourself, become your own best friend. Rather than projecting your ‘stuff’ onto others, own it. Rather than unquestioningly accepting others’ opinions about how to live your life, go by what is right for you, trusting your inner counsel. It takes courage to soul search, but reflection also brings reward.
Make yourself happy. A definition of a full life must include making yourself happy. By being self-indulgent in this regard (practicing what is called in coaching “extreme self-care”), we put our best foot forward and have enough to give from inside ourselves to make others happy. When traveling, we put on our oxygen mask first in emergencies to next help other passengers.
Strive toward personal mastery. For soul-inspiring leaders, maturity is a way of being that continuously asks: “Is this how I want to live my life? Is this how I want to be treated or treat others?” All actions are scrutinized to make sure they turn toward, not away from, spirit. Those who choose immaturity will get what they deserve, as will those who turn toward maturity.
Questions For Reflection
What is present for you about your family and your past that may still be interfering with your success as a fully integrated, mature adult?
To what degree are you comfortable inside your own skin, and what changes would you like to make to this aspect of your maturity?
How do you choose to interpret the notion “extreme self-care” – as self-caring or selfish? What does that tell you?