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We do not have cognitive and emotional maturation without regression, as to allow regrouping of our mental and emotional brain site chemistry, neurons, and connections for various functions and skills to grow and rearrange in new ways. It is cell division and realignment at the basic cellular level. In children you have stages in which they whine and cannot be comforted, and then emerges a higher level of development and a child appears more mature physically, cognitively, and emotionally. We have cyclical periods of emotional development all of our lives. Each decade seems to bring personal surprises in our perceptions of ourselves and our view of our relationships with others as well as God. For example, in many men there seems to be much maturation occurring between ages 30 and 33, the same ages in which Christ did his ministry. Many men feel like kids in the late 20's, yet feel very mature at age 33 years and have better career directions and concepts of themselves as leaders by age 33 years. During that maturation process, the brain cells are undergoing cell division and rearrangement at the cellular level. Biologically, there can be no maturation without regression, which is felt by a person as anxiety and disquiet.

I learned the above in medical school, psychiatric residency, child psychiatry practice, and as a mother (of 3 sons), and are ideas reinforced in me through personal experience of just getting older.


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