grief and death

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How Do You Know if You're Grown Up?

Are you grown up when you've reached your full height? Pass your 21st, 40th or maybe your 65th birthday? Or, when you pay bills, hold down a job, have children to raise? What does grown - up mean to you? Doing things because you have to even if you don't want to? Paying taxes and helping kids with their homework? Fixing things around the house, facing a never - ending mountain of dirty clothes and dirty dishes? Rushing here and there to satisfy the needs and demands of others? Reluctantly adjusting to more and more stress in a busy life?

Yes, those are all things that grownups do. But just because you do those adult things doesn't mean that you - the person you carry around inside you - are completely grown - up all the time.

You have moments, or days, when you remember more carefree times from your childhood without all of the demands and deadlines to meet. You long for enough time for yourself to rest and regenerate.

There are times when you check that face in the mirror for new wrinkles or latest gray hairs and ask yourself, "What am I doing. How did I get all this responsibility. I can't handle it all. And how did it happen so fast. I'm not ready for this. I want to be a kid a again. Free and having fun."

These thoughts make us want to run away from being grown up. It isn't as much fun as we had hoped. Sometimes that little kid inside you feels resentful or afraid? Perhaps the new boss at work makes you unaccountably nervous, and you realize he looks or sounds a little like you father. Or you are supposed to make an important decision or presentation or take a test, and you find yourself chewing your nails, watching television mindlessly or drinking too much to avoid the dreaded task.

A crisis may trigger a realization that you don't feel grown up enough to cope. The child who still lives within you and always will, is frightened, bored or mad. In fact you may have several little kids within you, or one little kid with many moods different ages and faces. You may have kids that like to play and have fun all of the time, you may have one who is sad, want to cry a lot and does so at sad movies, especially when people show genuine love for each other, another who is suicidal and hurts himself, another that is a joker and hides anger behind jokes and thinly veiled sarcasm, one who eats or drinks too much or uses drugs to escape internal pain, another one who is sexually promiscuous and gets you involved in relationships that doomed to failure and pain. There may others that continue to surface and sabotage your adult life.

This book is written to show how getting to recognize, know, nurture and heal these little kids within us can facilitate becoming a mature adult, feeling happy and joyful, fulfilled, balanced and peaceful within. It gives us a chance to make important strides toward growing up.

Just as Carin had to remember, express and feel the feelings she couldn't feel at the time of her rapes. You may have to dig into your past life, however painful, to heal your old pain and put it behind you, and to allow you to grow up and to liberate your adult.

When you occasionally explode from built - up stress and attack your children or your spouse, your best friend, or your pet, you can hurt the ones you love most by displacing your anger on them and then feeling guilty later after you calm down.

And how long have you been trying to find the courage to tell your parents to get their noses out of your business? Sometimes they still treat you like a child. Or you still feel like a child in their presence even though they try to treat you like an adult.

How grown up do you feel at times like those? Do they remind you of a familiar little kid who found the world a scary place?

Then how about the times when you forget you're a grownup now and act like a kid just for the joy of it? You leap into a big pile of leaves, or yell like a crazy about a football game on TV, or spend an hour giggling over a silly movie. You feel like a kid again, just for a little while. And it feels good.

If you have times like these, are really grown up? Does growing up mean you can't play or have fun any more? Not at all. Being grown up doesn't meant that you are serious all the time. You can balance your life between work and play.