What is emotional maturity? Is it the ability to understand and control your emotions? If that is true, then what, if anything, does emotional maturity have to do with the choices that we make in our daily, habitual movements?
Every person has a different emotional maturity, just as they have different movement patterns. Both can be changed, but the emotionally mature person may have an easier time breaking the postural or movement patterns that they have. Why? It’s because of how they view choice.
The emotionally mature person realizes that there are infinite possibilities in the choices people make. The emotionally immature person, on the other hand, usually views decisions as binary—it’s either one thing or the other. This worldview is limiting, and because the way people move is often a choice, it restricts the ability to change.
Seeing in Black and White
Because the emotionally immature sees choice as a black/white decision, changing harmful movement patterns can be difficult. Whatever the movement pattern we are talking about here is, because this person sees it as a dual choice, it is not very likely that the change will be beneficial in the long run.
Let’s say, for example, that an emotionally immature person has knee pain when they walk. The immediate response is to shift the weight to the other leg. This choice, of course, does not address why the knee is in pain. It only makes a change to address the problem of the present—to stop the pain.
Meanwhile, the cause of the pain is still there, and because the weight has shifted, the body must change shape to accommodate the new walking pattern, which can lead to increased strain, and eventually injury, elsewhere.
Seeing the Infinite Nature of Choice
The emotionally mature person sees things differently. They feel the pain in their knee, and while they may initially shift their weight to stop the pain, they also know that this is a temporary fix. They have to make a choice, and because they know they have a wide range of options to choose from to find relief, they are going to try to find a solution to the underlying problem. After getting a diagnosis from a health professional, they may see that they need to make a change their walking patterns.
But how do they know what changes to make?
Talking to a Professional
As a physical therapist, I know how to navigate and address the problems that cause much of the pain that people feel because of their posture or the way that the walk or the injuries that they’ve sustained. Someone who is emotionally mature understands that they may not know how to get relief from their pain in a healthy way. They know that they don’t have all the answers. So they seek help from someone who has the answers that they are seeking.
Carol is a physical therapist, a co-creator of Integral Human Gait theory, a certified Feldenkrais practitioner, and a Senior Trainer in Movement Intelligence. Focus, Align, Teach and Inspire! These qualities not only describe her work, but they also describe her presence. She is passionate when it comes to reconnecting learning with human function and health. Carol is in private practice at MontgomerySomatics.com in Columbus, Indiana.