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Maturity often requires a journey along two paths simultaneously – the path within and the path without. We must discover the deep parts of our own soul as we also move boldly into the world around us.

It seems we either neglect both paths or tend to focus on one to the exclusion of the other.

For many, life is simply going through the motions and maintaining the status quo. There’s no interest in exploring one’s deep heart or attempting to make a meaningful difference in the outside world. Life is good when bills are paid and we’re reasonably entertained.

Others are very focused on making a significant impact in the world. And with much energy they get a lot done. But when they neglect their inner world all their hard work is prone to eventually collapse. They’re building on a sandy foundation that cannot support the weight of all their good intentions.

At the other extreme are those who spend much time exploring and understanding their inner world, but never move to offer themselves to the outside world. While they might understand the depths of their being, they remain impotent when this is not also married to embodied action. It’s pointless to lay a strong foundation if we don’t eventually build a house on it.

Growth in maturity calls for us to intentionally explore the deep movements of our soul, while also consistently showing up to offer ourselves to the outside world.

To be sure, there are seasons in which we need to focus on one path more than the other. But we need both to live with true vitality and to do our part in bringing more life and goodness into the world.

Grow and make a difference by taking the journey both within and without.

Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

Dr. Corey Carlisle

Licensed marriage and family therapist and certified sex therapist - providing Christian counseling and soul care to individuals and couples, with a special emphasis on developing the masculine soul. Suwanee, GA 30024

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