It is a funny thing sometimes how we decide that growing up is going to be a bad thing. It’s like the older we get; the worse off we are going to be. At least that’s what seems to often be the general consensus.
But there are some things about growing that are way different than the usual type of stuff we hear when we are little.
A lot of folks hear things like, “Just wait till you grow up and have to work for a living” Like that’s a bad thing. And kids all over are inundated with the idea that growing up and working are both bad things to happen.
Then we get to school and hear lots of teachers and other adults tell us we need to grow up and not act so much like kids. You can even hear this kind of thing sometimes in first grade.
And then when kids get to high school and hear all about how much they are going to have to learn to grow up in a hurry once they leave high school and go to university or get a job. “Because, you now, you just can’t act like kids at college or on the job”
And then when people get married and the parents tell the intendeds that now they need to finally grow up and learn how to be adults because you just can’t act like kids when you are married.
All this talk about growing up and very little of it is nice. Or kind. Or gentle.
But growing up or even growing at all does not have to be a difficult or painful experience. It is, in fact, the way of the Universe and is really a very enjoyable.
Take, for instance, a tomato seed. One of my favorite analogies.
You want tomatoes, so you get some seeds. You don’t doubt that these are going to turn into tomato plants; you know they are because they are tomato plants.
You dig a little hole and put the seed in the ground. You cover the seed up with some dirt and give the newly planted seed a bit of water to drink.
When the plant starts to poke its head out of the ground, you don’t yell at it and try to make it feel bad because it is time to grow up by golly and the plant had better learn to do that because this is the real world.
Of course you don’t.
Growing Up Is A Natural Process
You look at the little tomato shoot sticking up out of the ground where you so carefully placed it and you are happy because you see it is starting to grow. And you know that it is going to grow in its own time and produce plenty of tomatoes for you to enjoy.
When the plant gets a little bit bigger you get out the tomato stakes (this is assuming you don’t have one of those upside down tomato growing things) and you hammer the stake into the ground next to the growing plant carefully so you don’t cut the root system you know is growing under the ground.
Then you take some twine and very gently pick up the plant and tie it to the stake so it will be supported while it is growing. You certainly do not curse at it for not being able to pick itself up on its own and tie itself to the stake.
Then when the plant grows more you retie the twine so that the plant is stable without being pinched off from the soil nutrients it needs to continue growing. Then you wait for the flower to appear and surprisingly soon after that day, you see the fruit start to grow.
You are wildly excited because you were sure this day would come even though it has been some work to keep the plant safe and well nourished while it is growing up.
Harvest day comes and you are rewarded with plenty of delightful tomatoes because you helped the plant grow into its purpose and you did not yell at it, curse it, wonder out loud in a mean tone of voice when it was going to grow up and give you some tomatoes and you certainly did not jump up and down on it when it first started to pop its little head out of the ground demanding that it give you tomatoes right then and there.
You just helped it grow, and that was not a painful or difficult experience at all. For you or the tomato plant.
Growing up does not have to be difficult, painful, quick or violent. It simply is. A process of time and love.
Just the way it was designed to be.