By David Whyte

Maturity is the ability to live fully and equally in multiple contexts;
most especially, the ability, despite our grief and losses,
to courageously inhabit the past the present and the future all at once.

The wisdom that comes from maturity
is recognized through a disciplined refusal to choose between or isolate
three powerful dynamics that form human identity:
what has happened, what is happening now
and what is about to occur.

Immaturity is shown by making false choices:
living only in the past, or only in the present,
or only in the future, or even,
living only two out of the three.

Maturity is not a static arrived platform,
where life is viewed from a calm, untouched oasis of wisdom,
but a living elemental frontier
between what has happened, what is happening now
and the consequences of that past and present;
first imagined and then lived into the waiting future.

Maturity calls us to risk ourselves as much as immaturity,
but for a bigger picture, a larger horizon;
for a powerfully generous outward incarnation
of our inward qualities
and not for gains that make us smaller, even in the winning.

~ David Whyte

from Book: Consolations: The Solace, Nourishment and Underlying Meaning of Everyday Words

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