The spiritually mature person doesn’t act from a place of dutifully needing “to do good” which is tainted with all kinds of unconscious desires such as self-gratification, power, prestige, and control. To do any mature charitable act, our motivation must come from a place of inner peace and freedom.
5. Maturity is Forgiving
Resenting other people is addictive. It gives us a false sense of power by believing that we are protecting ourselves from getting hurt again, and we are on the “moral high ground.” It tricks us into an unhealthy sense of self-importance; “I’ll never forgive you. What you did to ME was UNFORGIVABLE.” It is yet another way in which our misery and self-pity make us happy.
True forgiveness, on the other hand, involves taking responsibility for ourselves and making the decision to no longer attempt to justify or attach ourselves to feelings of hatred and anger. We are aware enough to know how damaging such heavy feelings are to us and the quality of our lives.
Related: The Dark Side of Spiritual Awakening
6. Maturity is Accepting
Spiritual maturity involves knowing what you can change and accept that which you can’t. A person who lives in a constant state of conflict with the world is one who is enslaved to their own internal reactions. They are not free to respond.
I am often confronted by people who ask me how I can be so at peace with the state of affairs in the world; the injustice, the chaos, the inequality that saddens them to the point of depression, or feeling like their sensitive natures don’t belong to this world.
This is closely tied with the forgiveness I mentioned above. I’m not OK with the injustice of the world, but I don’t resist it either. I’m aware enough to realize that change can never, and has never, come from an external system, but from an individual internal decision. To be able to help the collective maturity evolve I must first be able to accept and acknowledge the mess that we are in without resisting it and running away into my self-righteous ideals, without judging it and condemning others so as to make them defensive and lose receptivity to my message.
You can’t cure the turmoil of the world when you’re acting from a place of inner turmoil. The acceptance of yourself and the acceptance of others is like learning how to flow in a stream without ending up like another solid pebble at the bottom of the river.
The awakening of spiritual maturity is the beginning of the process of inner blossoming; it is the beginning of the journey toward the fulfillment of your own potential. Coming to truly know that potential means knowing that you require equal part sun as you do soil in order to be grounded, but to dance in the wind as well.