Discussing How to Be An Adult (2007-06-28/29)

I admire my older mentors for the grace and good humor with which they handle adversity, and the ease with which they handle responsibility. I know several others of similar age that react to emotional events the way I remember people reacting in high school. Did these others get stuck somewhere in the maturing process? What made my mentors keep maturing? I don't know. I imagine, however, that How to Be An Adult may be useful to those with the motivation toward maturity.

As a previous post sparked some discussion, I wanted to post more detail on this book. The previous post selected a specific aspect of the book (assertiveness), whereas this post will provide an overview of How to Be An Adult.

Paulist Press published How to Be an Adult: A Handbook for Psychological and Spiritual Integration. Shambhala published How to Be an Adult in Relationships: The Five Keys to Mindful Loving. These publishers may show the intellectual trend in David Richo's thinking. I have started How to Be an Adult in Relationships but do not find it as inspiring as How to Be an Adult.

How to Be an Adult has as its metaphor a heroic journey: a departure from containment in conditioned fear (by letting go of neurotic ego), a struggle to move out and to become unconditional and powerful (by building a healthy ego), and a return to wholeness as unconditionally loving (by releasing the spiritual self). The parts of the book are "Personal Work," "Relationship Issues," and "Integration"--and I understand the last part least. These parts, however, remind me of Stephen R. Covey's maturity continuum--from dependence to independence to interdependence--that I've mentioned several times. I end this post with a list of the issues these parts and chapters discuss:
  • Personal Work
    • Growing Pains and Growing Up
    • Assertiveness Skills
    • Challenges to Adulthood
      • Fear
      • Anger
      • Guilt
    • Values and Self-Esteem
  • Relationship Issues
    • Maintaining Personal Boundaries in Relationships
    • Intimacy
  • Integration
    • The Art of Flexible Integration
    • Befriending the Shadow
    • Dreams and Destiny: Seeing in the Dark
    • Ego/Self Axis: Where Psychology and Spirituality Meet
    • Unconditional Love

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