The road to emotional maturity by David Abrahamsen - Summary

Do you ever feel emotionally overwhelmed? Do you tend to blame others for your shortcomings and behavior? The problem may actually be your emotions and this book can help you figure them out.



Every man's life is filled with discontent, with restlessness, with conflict. These factors cloud our days and keep us awake at night because we do not understand our own selves - our dreams and wishes, our ambitions and limitations - our feelings. Yet the worst evil I know is not to seek knowledge and not to apply our knowledge to ourselves and the situations we face.

Looking inward for greater awareness

Beginning your journey

What we need is not the will to believe but the wish to find out. -- Bertrand Russel

What is emotional comfort?

Starting your self-examination

The reason we don't learn from our experiences is that our original habit patterns interfere with our recognition of the lessons that new experiences can teach us, and therefore prevent us from incorporating them into our method of living.

Know thyself -- Socrates

To thine own self be true -- Hamlet (Shakespeare)

Awaken your unconscious

For it is wisdom to believe the heart. -- George Santayana

Your feelings are your life

If your relationship to yourself is a good one, you will find that you tend to remember the good rather than the bad, the humane rather than the inhumane. This is the direct result of your drive for self-preservation, which roots out the minor deaths you have experienced, and pushes you on toward life. If this life force is weakened through unhappy childhood experiences, you will, by and large, see the emergence of a hypercritical person or a chronic complainer.

if you have suffered certain miseries and difficulties, you will usually find yourself drawn to people who have similar troubles.

Use your dreams for self-understanding

How much of the child is left in you?

Don't let fear and hostility block your love

Lack of interest in your own appearance or your abilities indicates you do not care about yourself (just as excessive vanity or concern about your appearance show emotional insecurity). Being careless about your appearance may be your way of saying, "I want people to accept me for myself, just as I am. I'm tired of 'fighting' for acceptance," - an unconscious display of hostility. In other words, what is your reason for keeping yourself unattractive to others?

You are both male and female

Hostility is as difficult to overcome as fear, but both can be surmounted by self-knowledge and self-understanding.

You can not act wisely without knowing your true motivation. And this wisdom is possible to everyone who is willing to look within.

Changing your inner life for emotional comfort

How to find emotional maturity - a key to emotional comfort

Emotional wisdom means acceptance of what you really are - not what you wish to be - and the ability to make the most of it.

Specific yardstick for self-exploration

To grow emotionally is to live

You can be your own "feelings doctor"

How to apply your knowledge to yourself

Love has many outlets

Genuine love begins with understanding and accepting yourself.

How to determine your attitude toward marriage

Reluctance to marry frequently indicates hostility toward yourself and the opposite sex.

Choosing a mate

Your mate must be thought of not only as a bed-partner but even more as a friend, companion, and confidant. Hence, you should choose your mate as carefully and wisely as you choose your closest friend.

You must determine your ability to accept your mate's habits and reactions and live comfortably with them [before marriage].

Looking outward for emotional comfort

The art of love in marriage

While previously you lived and made plans according to your own desires, consulting family or friends on personal matters, in marriage your mate should be your confidant and your decisions should be geared to bring satisfaction to both of you.

Shutting out your mate often leads to unnecessary worry or feelings of rejections which tend to cause disharmony.

A smooth-running marriage requires insight

A new path in family living

The foundation for your child's healthy emotional growth

Whoever has seen the satiated infant sink back from the breast to fall asleep with flushed cheeks and a happy smile must see that the picture is identical to the expression of sexual satisfaction in later life. -- Sigmund Freud

Parents and children are human beings

I must be cruel to be kind. -- Shakespeare

Curbing hostility in children

Timing of a discussion of any problem can be a major factor in resolving it.

The science of living

When I finish, I begin. -- Goethe

Technology, with its mass production, its assembly lines, its division of labor, its stress on youth, speed, and specialization, has provided us with physical comforts but little food for the spirit. It is, in fact, largely responsible for the lack of individuality in so many Americans.

False pride is the most expensive garment you can wear.

Either you conquer your feelings and make them useful to you, or they conquer you and make you a slave to your emotions.

Genuine success is decided by the emotional satisfaction you have achieved, the emotional happiness you have in your heart, and how much of that happiness you are able to give and to share with others.

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