We know well enough
that we are equipped with an innate drive for physical growth,
that the human animal is geared to keep developing
towards its outward mature form,
adding muscle and bone and fatty tissue
in a spontaneous process of development
体现在肌肉 骨骼 脂肪组织的增长
that begins in our earliest days in the womb
and ends around our 16th year.
What is less obvious is that we are marked
by an equally innate, equally powerful,
although here lifelong drive towards emotional growth.
Without anything mystical being meant by this,
unless we are impeded by internal or external obstacles,
we are set on an ineluctable path towards emotional development.
An obvious conceptual difference between the two drives is
that we can know easily enough
what it means to be fully grown physically,
but it’s rather harder to pin down
what equivalent emotional maturity might look like.
We can has a two-fold answer.
Our emotional drive is made up of two strands.
The first is a will towards ever greater and deeper connection.
The second comprises a will
towards ever greater and deeper self-expression.
To consider connection first,
we are marked by an intense wish
去远离孤独感 羞耻感 孤立感
to move away from loneliness, shame and isolation
and to find opportunities for understanding, sincerity and communion.
We long to share with friends, lovers and new acquaintances
an authentic picture of what it means to be us,
and at the same time,
to enter deeply into their feelings and experiences,
what we call love is
merely a subsection of the drive to connect,
which extends across a range of activities and types of relationship,
stretching to encompass the body
and our desire for physical intimacy, touch and sexual play.
We can count ourselves as emotionally healthy in large measure,
according to what degree of connection we have in our lives.
By the drive to self-expression,
we mean the desire to fathom, bring into focus and externalize
成为焦点 表达想法 拥有创造力和智力能力
our ideas and creative and intellectual capacities.
A drive that manifests itself particularly
around our work and our aesthetic activities.
We seek to gain an ever greater understanding
of the contents of our minds,
especially of our values, our pleasures
and our way of seeing the world.
And to be able to give these,
a kind of expression that makes them public,
comprehensible and beneficial to others,
we will feel that we’ve had a rich life.
Whenever we’ve been able to give a voice in shape
to some of the many perceptions that course through us,
从某种方式来说 不论怎样 或多或少
and in some way, however, modestly,
left a fruitful imprint on the world.
These two aspects of the drive for emotional growth
help us to get a handle on some of
our most acute moments of unhappiness.
It’s because of the primordial importance of the drive to connect
that it hurts so much when a friendship is broken off,
when an established relationship starts to lack physical contact,
or when we can’t find anyone
we see eye to eye within a new city.
And it’s because of how powerful the drive to self-expression is
that we suffer so much
when our studies fail to engage our minds,
when a job ceases to reflect our interests,
or when on a Sunday evening,
we feel in a confused way
that our talents are going to waste,
just as the same drive can explain
the intensity of the envy we’ll feel,
when we hear of a friend’s success
in an area that we aspire to.
Calling this aspect of human nature a drive
and equating it with that towards physical maturity
emphasizes it’s essentially non-negotiable nature
and hence its power over us.
It is as misguided, painful and nonsensical
to try to stop someone growing emotionally
是误导性的 它让人感到痛苦 没有任何意义
as it is to bind their feet.
The drive takes precedence over all manner of more convenient options,
the longing for respectability or
money or stability.
It won’t leave us alone until it’s been heard.
It might make us leave a marriage that would
from many perspectives
have been so much easier to remain in
or to throw in a job that was hugely convenient financially
in order to take up another
that more properly answers the call of our deep selves.
If the drive to emotional growth continues to be unattended
and perhaps even unknown to us,
it can short-circuit our whole lives
in a bid to be heard.
Fed up with waiting,
it may simply throw us into a paralyzing depression
or lock us into a state of overwhelming anxiety.
By breaking us in these ways,
the frustrated drive is trying to be
interpreted and accommodated.
What it lacks an eloquence and focus,
it makes up for persistence and strength.
A breakdown is a roundabout attempt
to create opportunities for a breakthrough.
That is a new stage of emotional growth.
By understanding more clearly how basic and important
the drive to emotional growth can be,
we may come to better recognize
the symptoms of its frustrations and logic of our longings.
And at points when we upset, the otherwise,
steady course of our lives in its name,
we can be ready to explain to ourselves
and those who care for us
what might be behind our puzzling behavior.
We haven’t forever lost our minds.
We recognize the role of respectability and status.
We would love to be less difficult and demanding.
It’s just that we have to honor another,
even more vital side to our nature.
We are under an inner imperative
to continue on our path towards emotional growth.
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