So Richard Rohr has these five realizations that he says must be absorbed for a young man to grow up and become an adult. A sort of initiation or rite of passage. I think these seem to be true for male or female. Man, I’m really into these top 5s this week….you know, 10 is just too much to remember.
Life Is Hard
If you can be convinced of this early in life and not waste time trying to avoid it or making it easy for yourself, you will ironically have much less useless suffering in the long run. Because we avoid the legitimate pain of being human, we bring upon ourselves much longer, meaningless, and desperate pain.
You Are Going to Die
The certainty and reality of one’s own death must be made very real. The young man must live as one who has already died “the first death” and is not protecting himself from the second. This is seen in the traditional Christian baptismal teaching: “Do you not know that you who were baptized were baptized into the dying of Christ?” (Romans 6:3). One’s death must be ritualized through trials, facing loss and one’s fear of loss, and symbolic drowning of the baptized.
You Are Not That Important
Cosmic and personal humility is of central importance for truth and happiness in this world. The initiate must be rightly situated in a world that demands respect from him, or he will have an inflated-deflated sense of himself that will need continual reassurance. This is almost the complete contrary of the post-modern “I am special” button. Littleness is nothing to be denied or disguised, but gives a basis for all community, family, and service.
You Are Not in Control
The illusion of control must be surrendered by a deep experience of one’s own powerlessness. Usually only suffering accomplishes this task, especially unjust suffering and things that one cannot change. Reality and God are in control, and we will normally not accept this until led to the limits of our own resources.
Your Life Is Not About You
This is the essential and summary experience. You must know that you are a part of something and somebody much bigger than yourself. Your life is not about you, it is about God. Henceforward, the entire human experience takes on a dramatically different character. We call it holiness.
IF THESE SEEM rather negative or even wrong to you, it might be a statement of how deeply we have been formed in the soft and individualistic ethos of the recent West. For all of its advances in technology and human rights, it has not found a way to integrate the private individual into a larger and healthy society. That larger and healthy society is precisely the work of initiation—without sacrificing the importance and dignity of the individual person.
– See more at: https://sojo.net/magazine/may-june-1998/boys-men#sthash.rUNlpjG2.dpuf