Monday, November 02, 2009

The need for a mixture

I found these few statements on the maturation process of children to be quite interesting. What do you think? This is taken from "Hold Onto Your Kids; Why Parents Matter" by Gordon Neufeld & Gabor Mate:

"Maturation in the psychological realm involves the differentiation of the elements of consciousness - thoughts, feelings, impulses, values, opinions, preferences, interests, intentions, aspirations. Differentiation needs to happen before these elements of consciousness can be mixed to produce tempered experience and expression. It is the same in the realm of relationships: maturation requires that the child first becomes unique and separate from other individuals. ... More fundamentally, a sense of self first needs to separate from inner experience, a capacity entirely absent in the young child. The child has to be able to know that she is not identical with whatever felling happens to be active in her at any particular moment.

... Without the capacity for reflection, they [two immature children] were defined by the inner experience of the moment. They immediately acted out whatever emotions arose in them. They could be their inner experience, but they could not see it. This inability made them impulsive, egocentric, brazen, dogmatic, reactive and impatient. Because fear did not mix with hope, there was no courage. Because frustration did not mix with caring, there was no patience. Because anger did not mix with love, there was no forgiveness. Because frustration did not mix with either fear or affection, they lost their tempers. In short, they lacked the fruits of maturation in their lives."

I find this thought that the mixing of many or more than one feeling at any one time as a tell tale sign of a mature individual is incredibly interesting. I work with and meet many a person who I find rather immature. This makes some interesting sense and is worth reflecting on some more.