top of page

Grow Down

I discovered this powerful message recently and it's well worth sharing...

Below is a passage of rare wisdom, by Richard Rohr, a modern day progressive priest. What he shares is what I call "growing down," which is in stark contrast to the consciousness of ascension and the spirituality of bypassing.

Growing down means growing into being more fully human, embodied, connected to others, and with a heart broken open enough to become a wounded healer with hard-earned wisdom to help others.

When we grow down, we automatically "grow up." This is the beautiful wholeness of paradox, what Rohr refers to as thriving in the contradiction. We catalyze both Yin (down) and Yang (up), which is wholeness. In contrast, unilaterally growing up does not ensure growing down—in fact, it more often buries and neglects our wholeness.

By going down, we encounter our core love wounds, and to work through them is an initiation to clear and integrate our childhood pain so that we are actually able to become emotionally intelligent (mature) adults. Because growing down confronts us with our shadow, it gives us the greatest opportunity for genuine, hands-on transformation so that we can become people of integrity. This creates a foundation of deep light for the privilege to affect the world as adults.

If we don't grow down, we remain childish, and our wounds and traumas fester and govern our lives unconsciously. We don't actually grow up, except most notably in the perverse capitalistic way of leaving home and making our own financial way in the world, which has its own merits, but is certainly not the grand sum of maturity, wisdom, and caring for the greater good (and in many cases is its antithesis).

When we don't grow down to grow up, we end up with a childish culture, and a tsunami of shadow trying to grab what it can from others to fill the void of what we have left untended.

Rohr says: "Human consciousness does not emerge at any depth except through struggling with our shadow. It is in facing our conflicts, criticisms, and contradictions that we grow. It is in the struggle with our shadow self, with failure, or with wounding that we break into higher levels of consciousness. People who learn to expose, name, and still thrive inside the contradictions are people I would call prophets."

36 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page