One interesting aspect that I have noticed is many of us age differently in our minds and emotions compared to our physical ages. Some are younger than their physical age in their minds while some are far older than they physically are.
I call it our Emotional age.
Why does this happen?
Often the reason is because of our socio, educational, economic and religious (SEER) conditioning. We carry mental age charts that tell us what should be accomplished ideally by a certain age. For example, depending on our SEER conditioning our chart may tell us we should complete our education by 19, or we should get married by 22, or that we should be financially secure by 32, and so on.
Obviously, we can’t sail through life so smoothly. We fail to fulfill social expectancies in one area of our life or the other; or sometimes we fulfill the expectancies too early. And at times we cannot acheive our own dreams which are our personal expetancies.
Naturally, this speeds or slows our emotional age.
People who have not emotionally fulfilled certain aspects in their past carry a younger age in their minds. For example a 28 year old may feel like 17 inside because he had dropped out of college after 17. And now that he is physically 28 his SEER chart says he should be secure in career. He could face issues in trying to appear 28 outside and fighting with being 19 inside. He may feel he is immature, lacks certain skills, etc.
People who have taken up too many responsibilities too early can carry an older emotional age. Such people may try to live up to the older emotional age. For instance, a single mother of 28 may feel emotionally 35 and tries to live up to the SEER image of how a mother should appear and behave at 35. And she faces stress and frustration out of carrying too old an image and excess responsibility.
Here’s a simple exercise to find out your emotional age:
Just imagine yourself entering a pleasant garden. Sit somewhere comfortably in the garden and just ask that personality of you which represents your mental age to step out of you and stand before you.
You will find a part of you stepping out and standing before you. This part of you is your mental age and he/she may be older or younger than you actually are.
Some of my clients have reported recollecting core events of the past when their inner personality steps out of them. The most important aspect to note are your reactions and impressions of this inner personality – be very aware of them and make a note of them.
In the next blog I will give you some tips on how to integrate this emotional personality with your physical personality without issues.