Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Growing Into a New Skin

Snakes shed their skin every year or so. I continue to wonder at the fact of that -- their skins hanging in dry husks in the back yard, usually hooked on a thorn or sharp branch.

Their bodies got too big for the confines of old limits and literally split the seams of the boundary that defined them, protected them, held the dangerous world at bay. 

I imagine this to be a painful process.

Put yourself in the mind of a reptile, your body stretching and expanding against the confines of your largest, quite sensitive organ. Like being born, you have no choice but to engage in a peristaltic surging against a suffocating membrane.

That's gotta hurt.

But there is a payoff to all that twisting down something like a birth canal.

The scales have more definition, brightness, luster. I imagine that the snakes breath a little easier, having slipped the pinching girdle on their younger selves. 

I feel like my skin is too small these days. I am running on empty, short-tempered, irritable, snarky. It feels like I am going to die. I can't go on like this. The incessant sniping by those who want a piece of me is overwhelming.

But this death is less a literal one than it is a death to the limits of the old ways of seeing and being. Like a seed that falls to the ground and dies to become something else, a living, breathing, photosynthesizing plant, some deaths are part of growth.

Something in me has gotten too big for the britches that contain, confine, and limit the boundaries of who I am.

There may be a new, fresh, clean, and shining soul-self on the other side of the split seams.

It's just so damned hard to get there, to let go of that old, dry, skin that has served me for so long.

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