‘It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.’ E.E. Cummings
There is a lot of music out there right now about ‘Peter Pan.’ One of these popular songs plays often on the Disney channel Ajay watches, and he and I have commiserated together lately about how sticky this song is, as neither of us can get it out of our heads once we hear it. (The version I am talking about is Peter Pan by Ruth B. )
This sticky tune has been a fun shared annoyance- but I have to admit- that when the lyrics are running through my head, they always make me very thoughtful as they speak to such a deep, deep, truth that we see almost daily here on planet earth.
The world is brimming with Peter Pans- both male and female versions. Peter Pans are those who refuse to grow up and do their work. Sure they may look grown up- even hold down a job or have gray hair…. But they are the types that take flight to Neverland anytime the path before them requires growth.
Keeping our spiritual feet on the ground and walking the walk is HARD- especially when someone we have shared a relationship with sprouts wings of avoidance and takes off when the going gets tough. You know that you are tangled up with a Peter Pan when the symbolic table of your life is set for a no holds barred, gloves off, difficult encounter- and the spot at that table, that has their name placard on it- remains empty. That seat remains empty because Peter Pans won’t show up for the hard stuff- because facing difficult moments means growing up.
When I think of ‘growing up’ I think of soul growth. Being old enough to vote or to collect Medicare are both indicators that we have physically ‘grown up’ – but if our biology has aged and our soul has stayed young- we are no more than a child at heart.
Growing our soul is hard work. It requires accountability. It demands that we SHOW UP, even if our heart pounds and our voice shakes. Beautiful and terrible things happen in this world every day… sometimes we bring the beauty- and sometimes we cause the pain. Whichever role belongs to us- if we are invested in growing our soul- we have to take our seat at the table.
Soul growth is never easy, but it is necessary -if we want to become who we really are.