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"Those, who do not change their habits, do not grow; therefore, their soul is either stagnant or even worse, in decay."
- Kasey Cole Braun

Phases Of Life

Life is a series of phases.
We remain in each phase indefinitely until we achieve a certain wisdom that causes us to grow and move forward in life. Our circumstances are meant to teach a lesson that develops 3 areas in our spiritual construction.

  • Deciciveness (The will) Situations will always give us a choice. We learn about right and wrong, cause and effect and the related consequences for each action. Principles are discovered, and when we follow them, we develop either good or bad habits. Making decisions based on the right thing to do vs. what is easy or what feels good is the maturity developed by making right decisions.

  • Attitude (The mind) How we react to our circumstances is more important than the outcome of the circumstance itself. We are to develop mental toughness, a positive view of the world, and hopefulness for better things to come. We are to build faith, build character, and turn defeats into victories. Our attitude also determines how well we treat others and how we deal with mistreatments from others.

  • Discipline (The emotions) How we keep our feelings from controlling our actions shows our level of maturity. We should never act, because "we feel like it". Our actions should be determined by our decisions and our attitude. Once our mind and will are in harmony, the emotions and feelings will accompany the action properly. Discipline is the process in which actions are carried out with deliberation, persistence, and consistency. Discipline is the follow through of the decision.

These 3 comprise the whole spirit, which in turn, leads the body.
(Will + Mind + Emotions = The Soul)

Some people will remain in a particular phase for a very long time depending on how quickly or slowly they develop the 3 areas. Strangely we may face similar circumstances repeatedly until we learn. Others may encounter a phase and seem to move through it overnight, because they've learned to master themselves. These people grow spiritually at a rapid rate and their phases become less frequent, as the person becomes more consistent. If there is a character flaw or an immaturity in the personality, then the phases will continue. Since no one is or will be perfect, this development will last a lifetime.
Changing our habits forms our character. Those, who do not change their habits, do not grow; therefore, their soul is either stagnant or even worse, in decay. Someone, who appears immature in the 3 parts of the soul, has more than likely been in the same phase for a very long time. For the many, who do change, they grow beyond their situation, and similar circumstances in life tend to never be a struggle for them again. Some phases are consecutive, while other phases overlap, and differ in the various roles we perform. But somehow, when we complete any phase, it affects ALL roles. The new thought processes and behavioral mentalities, that are a result of completing a phase, assist the person to more quickly travel through new phases.
Our life phases consist of the following generalized groups. The first being the least mature and the latter being the goal of a well-rounded character. Note in life, that many people will tend to move backward in these phases, because they lack initiative to improve their selves.

  • Dependent = Primarily the needs of self are of concern utilizing others to meet the needs. Relying mostly on others for support.

  • Codependent = Primary desire is to meet the needs of another, to the same extent, that the needs of "self" are met. This relationship gives, as long as it can also take.

  • Independent = Primarily the needs of the individual are of concern. Others' needs are of concern, but come secondary to the "self". True independence cannot show loyalty to any one entity, as it is does not take sides, unless the affiliation benefits the individual. It is "self" governing, "self" reliant, and operates on "self" created values.

  • Interdependent = The needs of others are met first, and in return the needs of "self" are automatically met. The automatic reciprocation is not immediate; that is why a mature person must act in faith and not necessarily expect something in return. It is in this phase, that relationships are mutual and the character of the person is most mature.

Ultimately the goal in life is to learn love. Love is the action of giving others your "self". This means time, possessions, forgiveness, grace, including them in your goals, and assisting others through their various phases. Love is "selfless". Love is laying your life down for another. Love doesn't count the cost...love just gives. Love does not seek reward for this giving. Love is the force that gives life it's meaning; it is the reason people should grow. To live life without love is an empty life. Those who choose to love their possessions and their pleasures, instead of growing and loving the people in their world, have only broken down their life force into solely meeting the needs of "self".
It is within interdependence that relationships are harmonized, happiness is earned, and the individual can be glorified properly.

essay by Kasey Cole Braun

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