I believe that a real sign of emotional and mental maturity is being able to explore and embrace the gray areas of life. I have always had a tendency to see life in terms of black and white. I confess that it's a really limiting and immature way of experiencing and relating to people and life; however, sometimes we can know that certain personal characteristics don't serve us and yet we feel as though we are stuck and unable to change.
Throughout my life I have run away from people, places, and situations because I didn't understand how to incorporate seemingly disparate parts of life. Now at 41, I'm finally starting to realize that I don't have to give up relationships with institutions, groups, or individuals that are important to me in order to make my life fit neatly into a box. Every experience can be useful. No thing or person has to be "thrown out" or done away with unless it is obviously harmful or destructive. Sometimes we seem to out grow certain things and it's time to move on to the next set of new experiences with the next set of people. I hope to get to a point in my life where I can bring together all of my varied experiences and all of the people that have been in my life and blend them together to create a tapestry that reflects the beauty, grace and loveliness of my life.