An Excerpt from ‘Spiritual Graffiti’ from Jeff Brown

I make a distinction between relationship challenges that are sourced in trauma and those sourced in developmental stages. Quite often, they are inextricably linked, but not always. Sometimes what is blocking someone’s emotional availability and fueling dysfunctional behavior is primarily related to unhealed traumas. But sometimes the deeper issue is that they are at a different emotional stage. In the latter case, it is not simply a question of holding the space for their healing. It’s a question of waiting, often for years, in the hope that they reach the stage you are at. An impossible scenario, both because you will have to stop growing yourself if they are to catch up, and because you really don’t know who they will be at the next stages of their developmental journey. They may grow into someone perfectly compatible with you, or they may move in another direction altogether. Perhaps the most important questions we can ask about a partner relates to their emotional age: How emotionally mature are they? What areas have they developed and integrated? What aspects are still under-developed? And how will their stage of development intersect with ours? Don’t be fooled by chronological age. Stage—not age—is what matters most. (~an excerpt from ‘Spiritual Graffiti’)

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