Every now and then there comes a time where we need to leave old things behind. Comfort makes it so that we don’t want to let go, but sometimes letting go is necessary in order for us to grow.
Think about that pair of jeans that you love. It may be too big, it may be too small, it may be worn and tattered…either way it’s beyond time to get a new pair. We hold on to it because it’s what we know and it fits us, or at least used to fit us just the way we like it. Jeans that are too tight sometimes even stretch with us as we grow because we wear them so much. We think that new jeans just wouldn’t be the same. Then one day, you’re out in public and the button pops off, or the zipper breaks, or the crotch or inseam rips. We wait until some major upheaval occurs before we finally give in and say, it’s time for a new pair.
This is much like our lives. Many times we stay in a situation because it’s comfortable, it’s what we know, and it seems safe. But the truth is, if we stay in that same place…how will we ever grow? It makes me think about snakes. According to wisegeek.com, “Snakes shed their skin to allow for growth, as well as to remove parasites along with their old skin.” Think about that for a moment.
If we are trying to symbolically stay in our old skin, it binds us so that we cannot grow. Our old skin has also accumulated parasites and other harmful things which we need to rid our system of. Those parasites could represent things like bad habits or behaviors that we need to turn away from.
Once a snake goes through the shedding process, its old worn scales are replaced with new healthy skin. This can occur anywhere from every few weeks to once a year. When you think of the skin that you need to shed, it can range from simple to complex. It may mean donating all of the old clothes that you no longer wear and replacing them with new clothes. Or it may mean walking away from a very comfortable yet stagnant or difficult situation.
In order to successfully shed the skin you’re in, it’s important to be honest with yourself. We often make excuses and try to convince ourselves that we are just fine where we are, but if we look at the situation truthfully and honestly we will find that we may in fact be hanging on to layers upon layers of old skin. We also tend to wait for something to happen (Like the jeans ripping that I mentioned earlier) to give us that push or that reason. We don’t need an excuse to grow. The fact that it’s just due time should be reason enough.
Once the old skin has been shed…leave it behind. When snakes leave their skin behind, it is still intact, but you don’t see them turning back to try to squeeze back into their old set of scales, do you? They move on and continue going through life with the new healthy skin.
When was the last time you shed the skin you were in? This week, I encourage you to take a good hard look at yourself and determine if there are some layers that need to be shed.