Spiritual and Emotional Maturity

Spiritual and Emotional Maturity Self-Actualization Self-Responsibility Self-Accountability Characterizing the Aspects of our Authentic Self

Spiritual awakening, also known as, Self-Actualization is achieved through matriculating through a series of steps, or a hierarchy of needs. All spiritually awakening and evolving beings must grow through and in many ways master the competencies of these basic and first level foundational processes. Thus, self-actualization is not the pinnacle of arrival, but a preparation for the next level of spiritual growth; which is spoken of as spiritual maturity.

Maslow in discussing self-actualize says that we must develop a capacity to experience, express and live authentically from the following set of human needs. These include but are not necessarily limited to: Physiological needs - Safety needs - Socialization (sense of belongingness) - Sense of Self-Esteem. These foundational needs are not only a part of the journey to psychological self-actualization, but they are also capacities that are developed in the journey to spiritual awakening.

When a person is spiritually awake they will possess and live from the following characteristics:

1. Personal Accountability; with an efficient perception of reality.

a. Self-awareness depends upon our accepting full accountability for our experiences of life:
b. For owning our feelings/thoughts about what is occurring and what did occur;
c. For knowing that we may not have committed the act or action (cheating, betrayal, loss, perceived injury, etc.), but we are responsible for how we respond to it, especially years later; d. For knowing that we are not a victim unless we agree to be a victim; that the spiritual journey is NOT about eliminating uncomfortable or "bad" situations -- it is about learning how to live through them in an empowered manner.
e. All of these require self-accountability and taking full accountability for our own experiences.

2. Self-Aware: Acceptance of the nature of being; self (as one is) and others (as they are).

a. Acceptance of what is and living from an acceptance and attitude of ... this is interesting.
b. No one and nothing is against me, so isn’t this interesting?

3. Problem-centered awareness as opposed to ego-centric.

a. This creative tension is arising to reveal what wants to unfold next.
b. This isn’t just about me, me, me, and did I say me! I want, I need, I, I, I, Me, Me, My.

4. Has a desire for and requires privacy and private moments.

a. Is not afraid of being alone; relishes alone time with thoughts & for contemplation.

5. A Sense of Autonomy (independence of environment)

6. Understands spontaneity

a. Is flexible and begins to support organic processes arising without need for control.

7. Has mystical and peak experiences

a. Is clear that these are part of the journey and do not make them “special” or entitled.

8. Is Philosophical-Metaphysical

a. Has the capacity to not just see black or white or just what is in “front of their eyes.”

9. Unhostile sense of humor

a. Does not use sarcasm as the base of humor, to deflect, or reject others or self.

10. Lives from a sense of simplicity

a. Doesn’t have the need for a lot of drama to arise; the addictive “pain-body” is healing.

11. Has a naturalness that arises from being authentic and self-aware

Interestingly, a person may possess the above mentioned qualities and yet may not be spirituality and emotionally mature. We rise into another state of consciousness, not just because we curbed our passions and pain, but because we are now consciously cultivating our virtues.

Spiritual and emotional maturity arises out of our being willing to consciously cultivate an unlearning of all we think we know. Of being willing to release the strong will of ego-strength we cultivated in spiritual awakening and learn how to dance at the edge of mystery, with ease and grace. This is true understanding of One Presence and One Power.


Rev. Toni G. Boehm, Ph.D. is one of our UWM ministry consultants working in the USCR region. To find out more what ministry consultants do and how to get in touch with them, click here.