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There is this rumor going around that growing up means losing your free-spirited, goofy, spontaneous, child-like behavior and replacing it with responsibilities, a serious face, and conservative, reserved, logical decisions. Because that’s what it means to become older right? You get into the “real world” and suddenly we must conform to what is expected of us? Must I sit cross legged, be well mannered, set up a retirement fund, and work until my adrenal glands and spirit are so exhausted that I no longer even have the time or energy for things that matter?
Oh please give me a break.
Growing up is so much more wonderful than that. It’s not about leaving anything behind, it’s about growing and evolving as a human being. It means learning to take risks, to open your heart, to live with compassion and understanding. It means to become self aware and know how your words and actions affect others, and to have the courage and heart to apologize for any pain you have caused others. It means seeing the humor in life, but also the darkness, and to embrace both as part of existence. It means to expand spiritually and to keep an open mind about the world around you. Growing up means staying light in heart and in mind, never taking yourself too seriously. And most importantly it means learning to respect and love both yourself and others. To let beautiful things be beautiful and not attempt to control or overpower.
Our souls are naturally free-spirited, curious, and playful…this should never be repressed and must always be a part of who we are. In fact I believe it to be a tragedy when this is lost, something vital missing from within. Without humor, play, silliness, and understanding the world becomes dull and full of hate and violence. We are all in this together, so we might as well make it enjoyable. So let’s stop telling children that growing up is this awful thing, because then we only set them up for stunted growth with hearts full of fear. We need more people to grow up, because right now there seems to be too many adults walking around with this obsession over youth and no real appreciation for the wisdom and compassion that can come with age.