We tend to think that people our parents’ age are already mature.
I once coached a CEO in her late 60s.
She’d bring up what her deceased mother did to her decades ago.
She so wanted, but struggled, to empathize with her.
During our sessions, what helped her empathize was to surface new subtleties and nuances in her mother’s situation.
Things that gave her mother’s behaviors new meaning.
As psychologist Lewis Lipsitt says “we mature when what we once assumed to know takes on more subtlety and nuance, thus changing in meaning.”
She was maturing.
Maturation is not about aging.
It’s about making new meaning from our past so as to move forward with fresh eyes.
Sometimes this softens our pain.
Sometimes it lets us weep.
As we mature.