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We’re “Do-Better Fanatics,” committed to the purpose of relationship education. Our mission here in the Grown Zone is to help you grow from adult choices to Grown Decisions. When you decide that you want to make better choices, engage in more self-love, and have healthy relationships, you are ready to enter the Grown Zone.

In the Grown Zone, we recognize and honor the truth that not everything that we have the adult right to do (including with our bodies, our money and our relationships) is the Grown, healthy thing to do, and that there is more to being Grown than merely reaching adulthood (or behaving  as most adults do). In the Grown Zone, we believe that self-destructive choices are not inevitable and that we can and must do better, by choosing and committing to self-love (not to be confused with self-indulgence) and personal growth.

When pain, drama, unstable relationships, and self-destructive choices are recurrent themes of a person’s life, there is a high probability that the person, regardless of their age, has not committed to personal growth. A sure sign is when an adult keeps repeating the same drama (i.e. unplanned pregnancies, job firings, violent encounters, failed marriages, multiple bankruptcies, etc.), seeing life not as a result of his or her choices, but a series of things that happen or are being done to them that they have no responsibility or power to change. On the other hand, those who choose to be Grown accept and own the choices and outcomes of their lives, and proactively pursue learning and growth, continually challenging their beliefs and making their next decision better. They understand that “It just happened” is just code for “I made an adult choice without an agenda for Grown decision-making.”

The difference between adult choices and Grown decisions is not about moral or immoral, “godly” or “ungodly”, or good or bad, but healthy or unhealthy. If a choice brings honor, esteem and respect (H.E.R.) to you and those in relationships with you, it is healthy; if it brings about consequences that diminish or violate the standard of H.E.R. for you and others, it is unhealthy. Based on that standard, here are 15 things Grown people believe that mere adults don’t:

Having the right to do something does not mean it’s the right (i.e. healthy, self-loving) thing to do. Being Grown is about knowing the difference and doing better.

Honesty and integrity are not innate qualities (any more than dishonesty and lack of character are); they result from conditioning. Grown people choose to develop beyond the conditioning of their upbringing, societal expectations and culture. Adulthood happens; personal growth is a choice.

Living without an agenda equals allowing others to use you for theirs. It’s your job to set the standard for your treatment. We don’t experience adverse results (such as an unwanted pregnancy) because we planned to, but because we don’t follow through on a plan not (Side note: Grown people do not commit random procreation.)

Always choose self-love and personal growth over momentary pleasure and instant gratification. Grown folks know that saying “no” to what they want in the moment in favor of what they need to be healthy, secure and whole for the long term doesn’t always feel good, but it’s always fruitful.

Repeated chaos in your life? Make a choice: suffer more of the same or do something different. To do otherwise is to be a voluntary victim.

If you must spend or lend money, surrender access to your home, give up your body or neglect your spirit to prove your love, it’s not love.By this standard, most things typically referred to as “love” are anything but.