There are lots of hermit crabs in the tide pools near my house. They’re interesting little creatures. A hermit crab will find a shell that fits him, put it on, and live in it. After a while, he grows and the shell no longer fits, so the crab scurries along the sea floor and finds another shell to live in. He crawls out of his first shell and into the shell that fits his new needs. This scene repeats itself again and again throughout his life.
Learn a lesson from the hermit crabs.
Just because a decision was right for you yesterday, doesn’t mean it meets your needs today. People grow. People change. And sometimes we have to let our safe little places go, in order to grow and change.
Are you holding on to something that doesn’t work anymore, just because it’s safe and what you know? It could be a behavior pattern—such as feeling victimized in all your relationships or wearing yourself out trying to control what you can’t.
Thank the lessons, people, and places of the past for all they’ve taught you. Thank your survival behaviors for helping you cope. There’s nothing wrong with feeling comfortable and safe—having lifetime friends and a career that serves us well. But don’t get so comfortable that you can’t let go and move on when it’s time.
If the walls are too confining and limiting and you’re feeling stuck and bored, maybe it’s time to get out and find a new shell. There’s another shell waiting that will fit you better, but you can’t move into it until you leave this one behind.
God, show me the behaviors, things, people, and places that I’veoutgrown. Then give me the faith to let go.
From the book: More Language of Letting Go
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