on growing up


There’s no one away, of course.

But we are all called to grow up in the way we are able to within the world and universe as they are unfolding: to see more, feel more, do more.

To see more.

We begin with observation.

‘The poet plays himself where the future becomes present.’*

‘Could our lives be journeys in which we stumble on things of indescribable beauty?  Are we to be alert to even the most ordinary moments of our lives for the possibilities?’**

This involves discovering a different kind of time.  Not chronos linear) time we think grown-ups should live in, rather the kairos (moment of possibility) time.

To feel more.

Developing the ability to live within this kind of time opens up the opportunity to feel what matters most deeply for us.  Of all the gifts that come to us, some resonate more deeply and we begin to shape these through our curiosity and interest and innovativeness.  We come to know some things and not others in a deeply nuanced way.  To then be described as an expert feels too fixed, as if we’ve made it; we know we never will, we don’t know how deep or far this rabbit hole might go.

‘To follow your gift is a calling to wonderful adventure of discovery.  Some of the deepest longing in you is the voice of your gift.  The gift calls you to embrace it, not to be afraid of it.^

To do more.

To see more is not to be grown up.  To feel more is not to be grown up.  To do more and make something happen in the lives of those around us is to be grown up.   To choose each day to live our values, to use our gifts, and to love are the most grown up things any of us can do.

‘Infinite games, on the other hand, are played for the privilege of playing.  The purpose of an infinite game is to allow the other plays to play better.’^^

I can’t grow up in the way you can.  I leave that to you.

(*From Lewis Hyde’s The Gift.)
(**From my friend and mentor Alex McManus.)
(^From John O’Donohue’s Eternal Echoes.)
(^^From Seth Godin’s The Icarus Deception.)



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