There is something about the human soul that longs to be settled and stirred. This simultaneity is expressed in our Unitarian Universalist faith, we are proud of our church’s history and roots that have led us to become a community of constant seekers. There is wisdom and truth in this religious path as it reflects the constancy of change that we each experience.
At ten years of age, I clearly remember believing that by the time I was an adult, (which in my child’s mind was 25 years old) I would be formed, settled, know most of what I needed to know, and be prepared to go live out my life. It seemed to me that adulthood was the time in life that was full of possibility, and I longed for the confidence in my completeness coupled with the independence needed to go explore the world. From our tastes to our shape, through the eyes of a child who is ever growing and learning, adults seem static.
Growing is an indisputable constant when we are young, yet adults are culturized not to speak too often about the myriad of changes we experience, from parenting joys to empty nesting to grief, and of course, our ever-aging bodies. I believe we do ourselves a profound spiritual disservice by hindering the shared expression of our continued changing lives to one another and our children. The mercurial nature of our lives may be less obvious as adults yet there is always something new to be present to, learn from, or a deepening of understanding to be revealed.
In education, we call this a growth mind-set, shifting our focuses to what we can change: our thoughts and actions, how we handle challenges, and what we give our energy to on our continual journey of improvement. The human condition is full of growing pains and joys at every age and though adulthood may not offer the completeness I longed for as child, sharing our journeys with fellow seekers is worthy solace.
May we have the courage to give voice to the changes inside and around us, find true companions to accompany us through the unsettling moments and celebrate the joyous ones.
Rev. Kimberlee Tomczak Carlson
Minister of Religious Education