I was reading Peter Pan to my daughter, and told her how it had been a favorite story of mine as a child. In fact, the movie Finding Neverland reawakened my love of the poignancy between idealism and reality. It didn’t occur to me until recently that I had become Wendy.
Wendy represents a girl exploring the adult desire of being in love with Peter Pan, and also takes on a mother role to the Lost Boys. Through out my adult life, I have loved men who were Peter Pan: eccentric, emotionally immature, fun, excellent at what they do (like Peter and sword skill) but almost childlike in their relationships.
“Peter Pan Syndrome can affect both sexes, but it appears more often among men. Some characteristics of the disorder are the inability of individuals to take on responsibilities, to commit themselves or to keep promises, excessive care about the way they look and personal well-being and their lack of self-confidence, even though they don’t seem to show it and actually come across as exactly the opposite.”Science Daily
And what use is Peter without Wendy? “Psychologist Dan Kiley, who defined ‘Peter Pan Syndrome’ in 1983, also used the term ‘Wendy Syndrome’ to describe women who act like mothers with their partners or people close to them. Humbelina Robles stresses that “Wendy is the woman behind Peter Pan. There must be someone who deals with the things Peter Pan doesn’t do in order for Peter Pan to exist.” Science Daily
Organizing my romantic experiences in neat little syndromes is not the purpose of this blog, nor is criticizing or labeling the men as not enough; recognizing the consciousness from which I’ve been creating is.
Over the weekend, I met an adult male who is a grown up, who lives a deep purpose, and who exudes emotional maturity. I felt like a needy child beside him. Suddenly, the reason my life is filled with men 30 and under made sense. Around my 20s, I developed a powerful mental armor and I used it as a defense instead of allowing myself to feel and handle the emotional world. In between violence and taking on adult roles, I both grew up too fast and didn’t grow up at all. I think I hoped to get one of the Peter Pans in my life to grow up with me. But it doesn’t work that way.
Wendy grows up. I have set down my mental shield and I’m ready and able to grow up. That’s not the same as growing old – its about taking full responsibility for myself emotionally.
“Emotional maturity is defined by the ability to control your emotions and take full responsibility for your life along with its opportunities and dramas. A large part of being emotionally mature is having the ability to handle anger, disappointment, guilt, resentment, fear, jealousy, disappointment, grief, insecurity, and a myriad of other feelings appropriately. Emotional maturity is defined when you have the ability to experience these emotions and then quickly let them go. People who are immature seem to remain stuck in these negative emotions, unable to get past them.”Hearts Spirit and Mind
And the part of me that is fully awake, living in consciousness, has been manifesting this for me. The evolution with Bhikku into parents and business partners has been growthful. Goodbye to the Magus reflects my unwillingness to have childishness characterize my relationship dynamics.
I admit I have work to do. My relationships have reflected the level of emotional stuntedness I accepted in myself, and compensated with through mental prowess and some empathy and spiritual awareness. My ideal mate has been some version of Peter Pan for 25 years. Its time to grow up into the woman I really am.