The 12-Step program of recovery from alcoholism / addiction / codependency, in part, takes one through the process to maturity.
Maturity is gradually attained through the process of the spiritual awakening which is a result of working the 12-Steps.
The 12th Step states “Having had a Spiritual Awakening as the result of these steps …”
The Oxford Dictionary defines the word “maturity” as
- deliberateness of action,
- mature consideration,
- due deliberation,
- fullness or perfection of natural development,
- due promptness,
- the state of being complete,
and so on. This is the literary definition.
What is maturity?
Maturity need not necessarily come with age, but with awareness and understanding, borne out of individual perception, emotion and thinking experience. In an individual, it develops to the extent he organizes his consciousness on the basis of his whole experiences and verification of facts and to the extent he is free from his irrational thoughts, beliefs, prejudices, notions and emotions.
To be mature does not necessarily mean just a fully grown up individual. It is a combination of many things that includes age, awareness, intelligence, decision making ability and more. To be mature means:
- to be realistic, to be in touch with reality and to be guided by facts,
- to be responsible to self and others and to accept responsibility for self preservation,
- to be willing to examine ones beliefs, fallacies, prejudices and assumptive behavior in an objective way and let them go,
- to be guided by reason rather than emotions, to be able to distinguish the two and also at the same time accommodate them appropriately and intelligently in one’s life and priorities,
- to be assertive without being aggressive, to be friendly without the need to get attention, to disagree without the need to compete and to seek without the fear of failure or rejection,
- to be flexible and open-minded rather than rigid and judgmental, to be amenable to new situations and receptive to new knowledge, to be willing to learn new skills and new responses,
- to be inquisitive and exploratory, seeking answers to questions one does not know, gathering information before arriving at conclusions, stretching the mind to explore hidden possibilities and hidden potentialities,
- to act spontaneously to an occasion or situation, free from preconceived notions, the compulsion to be perfect or correct, habitual or mechanical reactions
- to be in touch with the present and enjoy the passing moment
- to know what is possible and achievable and to acknowledge that which is not.
With the help of your sponsor, your Higher Power and a 12-Step fellowship one can be free of childish impulses and actions.