Maturity is the place where the twin poles of development, our need for autonomy and our need for connection, fully experienced, finally converge. Our struggle shifts in a way that allows us to embrace the space between those poles instead of fearing or resisting it. As mature people, we no longer feel only our true selves when resting comfortably on a developmental pole. We come to understand, consciously or unconsciously, that the space between the poles represents possibility; then we open into it. The poles are thus bound together in inescapable relationship. When we find our balance in that space of possibility that lives between them, we can truly make meaning of our lives. No longer do we claim innocence: we “step up to the responsibility” of meaning- making in all domains of our lives. We accept that our intellectual, emotional, moral and spiritual choices and their consequences are our own.
Autonomy : willingness to face reality, capacity for incisive analysis and independent creative thinking.
Connection : capacity to see patterns and weave parts into whole, see systems, see stewardship role.
Monsters : cleverness, perseveration, rigidity, ownership of the parts.
Autonomy : capacity for independence, willingness to take actions as free agent.
Connection : capacity to affiliate, freely initiate and sustain loving relationships with others, and with the world around you.
Monsters : ego, need to be right, narcissism, insecurity, anger, absence of impulse control, childhood survival techniques.
Autonomy : capacity to hold fast to moral course or compass when others aren’t.
Connection : capacity to stay in dialogue with those whose moral values are different, to see commonality in values.
Monsters : greed, life fatigue, dishonesty, self- justification, apathy.
Autonomy : capacity to develop and maintain a spiritual discipline, personal spiritual practices allow you to discern where spirit leads you.
Connection : capacity to stay connected to one’s spiritual source and a profound desire to utilize and return the gifts life has offered.
Monsters : depression, secrecy, addiction, cynicism.