March 12, 2024 by Dymphna

T-Bomb: How jobs stop you from growing up

Truth Bomb Tuesday: It’s hard to become completely free.

Do you remember when you grew up?

It must have happened at some point right? At some point you must have moved from the dependency of childhood into the independence of adulthood.

But when was it?

Was there a particular moment in time? Your eighteenth birthday? Your 21st? The first time you got a job? The first time you moved out of home?

When did you realise that your life was now your responsibility – that you now had to rely on your own drive, your own power, and your own inner-resources?

There probably wasn’t a point in time where that transition happened – no clear separation between those two life-phases. Like most of us, you probably just bumbled your way into adulthood, slowly stepping out from under your mother’s skirt, to stand more and more on your own.

I think this is a shame. It’s a shame we don’t have clear markers here anymore.

Because we learn things as children that don’t serve us as adults.

As children, we are dependent on the care and the resources of our family. If we’re lucky, we practice a healthy dependency – where we are totally dependent, but grateful and ready to contribute where we can.

There is a particular skill set that goes with being a child, and it’s a skill set we practice and become good at. It’s not that easy to receive.

But it is not a skill-set that serves us as an adult. As an adult we don’t want to be primarily looking to others for our material needs.

But many of us do. And we call that dependency a job. We rely on our employers for our material needs, and in return, offer gratitude and a willingness to contribute where we can.

We are good children.

We apply the child’s mindset to work because we never consciously stepped away from it. We never had a clear moment in time where we stopped being a child and started becoming an adult.

Many cultures have clear ceremonies of initiation. They are ceremonies of transformation – where the child gives way to the adult. Where dependency is replaced with responsibility.

We don’t. Not in the West. And so we never have a point in time where we consciously let go of the strategies that served us as a child, and learn a new way of being.

And as a result, we never take full responsibility for our lives, and never step into our full power.

And we’re always looking to others – to our employer, to the government, to the economy etc. to provide for us.

It’s time to let that go. It’s time to acknowledge that you are an adult, and that you no longer have the luxury of being dependent on others.

It’s also time to acknowledge that the strategies that served you as a child are now holding you back, and preventing you from stepping into the fullness of your power.

This is your ceremony of initiation. This is your invitation to become a fully realised adult.

… because it’s just not going to happen unless you make it happen.