Failure to Launch
by Jackie Woods
I have a friend whose 24-year-old son was still living at home. And while his parents love him and were pleased he enjoyed their company, they were ready to have some time alone. The son ignored all their hints that he might want to find his own place because life was good for him. He didn’t have to budget his money and food was always available. So they asked, “Should we kick him out or allow him to stay?”
I suggested that his failure to launch might be because he didn’t want to grow up. So the parents started asking him to be responsible for his own food, laundry, and rooms. They charged him rent and set a curfew. Within a few months, he had moved on.
Sometimes we fail to step into the next stages of maturity because we, like the son, see no reason to change what we are used to. In other words, we don’t want to launch. We like everything just as it is. And while being content with your life is a gift, shutting off from the energetic food of new thoughts, feelings, activities, and heart energies, is a road to stagnation.
If you are failing to launch into new thoughts, feelings, and activities then you might want to ask yourself what you are afraid to change about yourself. For you change situations by changing you. Expanding how you engage in life is what keeps your mind alert and your feelings content. Plus, it opens up new avenues for physical and spiritual expression.
Here is a personal example. I have a friend who is very lonely. She has few people to talk to so when she calls it is non-stop listening on my part for at least an hour. I used to get angry and feel like I was just a dumping ground for her frustrations. Then one day I woke up to the fact that I was in charge of my situation. So I stopped looking at what was wrong and needed fixing to how could some part of me be expanded in those conversations.
I decided to expand both patience and compassion. This allowed my mind to focus in a new way and my feelings to detach and move forward. I also set boundaries around the time we spent on the phone. None of this would have been possible if I had continued doing what I was used to doing. I would have failed to launch!