That's a phrase I feel quite confident in saying that we have all heard directed our way at one time or another. The other day I was watching Judge Judy. I can only stomach watching her for a few moments at a time. Too much like my childhood. My father, like Judge Judy, was under the impression that calling someone "stupid" and other such words was a recipe to get one to "get with the program" and "grow up". Sadly, these people fail to realize that this behavior serves only to strip the other person of their sense of self, worth and dignity.
As I watched Senora Judy rip apart the young person in front of her, saying her usual "grow up", it gave me cause to think about that term. "Grow up." We say it a lot. And yet what does it really mean?
In today's society, to be "grown up" means you have made success for yourself professionally and financially. You're self-supporting, or so you claim. You're a rugged individualist. Strong. Tough. Powerful. And in today's society, it doesn't matter much if one makes themselves a success professionally and financially in ways that abuse and mistreat others. So what if the Corporate Type Business Owner is underpaying his/her employees, over-working them, treating them like cattle. In so long as Mr./Mrs. Corporate is making money and enjoying a successful business, they are labeled "grown up". They have that mortgage payment, car payment, insurance payment et. al to prove it.
Maybe a better way to define this experience is to say Grow Into Yourself. With Love. We see time and time again, examples of tyrants and bullies who are self-supporting, and yet I would hardly define them as grown up. To truly embrace this experience, we must grow into who we really are. And the only way to do this is through love.
For in this manner, we can truly enjoy real success. A success that can never be lost or taken away. The end result may look different than we in the western world are used to. But I believe it is time to expand our view on what success looks like. What it really is.