As the lobster grows and sheds its shell throughout its life, we too must shed our 'life shells' as we are pushed to grow, think and act differently.
If you do not know the ins and outs of this marine crustacean, you can check out Vegan Peace's website. It tells us that lobsters grow by molting, or shedding their shells. Each time they molt, lobsters will grow about 20 percent. A young lobster will molt up to 25 times a year. Adult males will molt twice a year, and females will molt once a year. When lobsters get older, they molt about every four years.
It takes about six to eight weeks for a lobster's new shell to become hard enough to protect it against natural enemies. While they are soft and fragile, lobsters will bury themselves in the mud or hide under rocks.
Just as life experiences force us to grow as people, it becomes impossible to stay in the same shell that we were once so comfortable in. We have changed our old ways of thinking, feeling, and acting. Our old shells, if you will, no longer fit. Just as the lobster’s body expands to facilitate its molting process, we too expand intellectually, spiritually, and emotionally in order to get out of our old life and fit into our new one.
I know how it feels to struggle out of my old life and into the new life before me.
I have personally experienced multiple relocations, loss of my family, dealt with addiction issues, learning challenges with my children, and a divorce that was not unlike the death of my Mom, Dad, and brother all in one.
It is for this reason that I feel compelled to write about empowerment through major life changes. I have been in the hallway between my old life and my new one many times. A nebulous time, aptly defined in the Oxford English Dictionary as “in the form of a cloud or haze”, or “a vague, unclear concept.” Somehow that makes sense for how we often feel until we adjust to our new reality, and accept and embrace it. Accepting the change, and the good that it can represent in our lives, is key to moving on and finding peace, ease and grace.
As the lobster grows with each new shell, we also grow stronger and can see the good easier with numerous life changes. Like the lobster, we may have to “bury ourselves in the mud” for a little while. But eventually, we wear our new shell comfortably and with pride. We faced the challenge that life threw at us. Maybe, as we get older, we will only have to change our shells every few years like older lobsters — becoming stronger and more resilient with each molting.
Personal Quote: “We do not always know if someone is having a tough day, so pick kindness to others whenever you can … they will remember and perhaps do the same for someone else, and so on…”