Feelings are more elaborate realities than emotions. Feelings include the latter but they also rely on a rational component as well as over a prolonged duration and on deeper roots. Sentimental maturity can be defined as an emotional sediment resulting from experience and emotional intelligence.
The sentimental maturity is never total but when a certain level is reached, it becomes a relatively stable characteristic of the personality. It is the result of personal work and for this reason, it is not very sensitive to fluctuations of events.
"Maturity is the ability to harvest without apology and without complaining when things are not going well."
Sentimental maturity is not just a concept or a discourse as other psychological realities may be; it is actually the actualized result of a practice that manifests itself in practice itself. Thus, it is staged through different skills, different attitudes and different behaviors. Here are some of its features:
1. Self-knowledge, a characteristic of sentimental maturity
Self-awareness is the ability we have to objectively identify the characteristics that define us. This supposes to have also developed the capacity of self-observation. It's the ability we have to analyze our behaviors and draw conclusions.
Self-knowledge also allows us to predict our reactions to different situations as well as our inclinations and aversions. It has an influence on the consciousness we have of our actions and the identification of our motivations.
2. The search for stability
One of the characteristics of sentimental maturity is the search for stability. This should not be confused with the need to create comfort zones for us to settle there and not with the desire to stay calm and evolve.
The search for stability is linked to the need to give continuity to our actions and to link them together. This approach is actually opposed to dispersion. We can love to go backpacking and be stable in this way of life. True instability is defined as the repetition of cycles in which one starts something that one does not actually finish because one passes in every case to the next cycle.
Realism implies the ability to adapt to facts. We must be able to appreciate them as they are by trying to minimize the intervention of subjectivity. We must always try to see the world as it is and not as we would like it to be or how it should be.
Realism leads to sentimental maturity and reinforces both awareness and adaptation. These are two dimensions that feed back. Being realistic does not stop with dreaming and having no illusions. It's about knowing how to differentiate what's going on inside with what's going on outside.
4. The protection of many facets
Another aspect in which sentimental maturity is reflected is our ability to explore the different dimensions of our lives. We are a body, a spirit, a creation, a thought, a fulfillment, a suffering, etc.
Often, we reduce ourselves to our professional, sentimental or family lives. It is also possible to give importance only to suffering or diversion by trying to hide everything else. A full life encompasses the different dimensions of being.
5. Understanding the ups and downs
When one reaches the sentimental maturity, one understands that the ups and downs are facts inherent to life. Any situation as stable as it is includes errors and uncertainties, reasons for sadness or joy, efficiency or limitation.
We especially learn that a bad moment does not mean that everything will go wrong and that a good moment does not mean that everything will always be good. We understand that all this is part of life and it is worth living, without escape or escape.
6. Consistency between feeling, will and commitment
Self-knowledge and realism give rise to a condition that is part of sentimental maturity: coherence. In other words, we manage to do what we want by assuming the responsibilities that come from it.
In fact, there is a basic consistency between the objectives concretized by the commitments, the will to reach them and the desire that everything happens in this way. So do not want to live another life or the life of the past. We must simply live as we wish to live by assuming the cost of our choices.
Self-regulation is linked to the ability to modulate reactions and actions by adapting them to context and objectives. We must therefore ensure that the intensity of emotions or reactions does not become a personal obstacle.
Self-regulation is not synonymous with repression. It is not a question of "supporting" or overruling. The idea is to know how to express what we feel in order to understand or foster understanding, not conflict.
Humans reach full maturity on very few aspects. Faced with these dimensions for which we will always have one more step to make, we can try to get closer every time more of the state of equilibrium. If we grow it, our life will become fuller.