“Sometimes a part of us must die before another part can come to life.” Madisyn Taylor (Daily Om)
Life is full of transitions. Even though this is a natural and necessary part of our growth, it is often painful. And if we don’t realize that we are in transition, then what is happening can become confusing and disorienting. We may begin to play the Blame Game and not realize that we are dealing with “This Thing Called Life”.
In fact, confusion and disorientation are often the messengers that tell us a shift is taking place within us. These shifts happen throughout the lives of all people as we move from infancy to childhood to adolescence and beyond. With each transition from one phase of life to another, we find ourselves saying goodbye to an old friend: the identity we formed as we moved through that particular period of time.
Sometimes we form these identities in relationships or jobs. And when we shift those areas of our life, we can become unsettled. Usually, if we take the time to look beyond the changing surface of things, we will find that a shift is taking place within us as a yearning or desire for something different, new, or more expansive. For example, we may go through one whole chapter of our lives creating a protective shell around ourselves that we needed in order to heal from some earlier trauma. When we are healed, then we can transition into our next phase.
One day, we may find ourselves feeling confined and restless, wanting to move out of the shelter we needed for so long so that the new, emerging part of ourselves can be born. Just like the chick must peck its way out of its shell to have a fuller life, so we must break out of the confines of the shell of our old protective self in order to have that fuller new life.
We may feel a strange mixture of exhilaration and sadness as we say goodbye to a part of ourselves that is receding to make way for our new identity to emerge in its place. We may find inspiration in working with the image of an animal who molts or sheds in order to make way for its new skin, fur, or feathers. For example, keeping a duck feather, a picture of a butterfly, or some other symbol of transformation, can remind us that life changes or transitions are simply nature’s way of growing and evolving. We can surrender to this process, letting go of our past self with great love and gratitude for the gifts it has given us and welcoming the new self with an open mind and heart, in quiet anticipation for our next phase of life.
Affirmation: Realizing that transitions are a necessary part of life, I graciously surrender my old self so that my new self can be born with ease.