I spoke to a friend recently and she had a rather nasty episode of “shedding.” What is shedding, you ask? In this context it’s the moment you’re elevated to a new level of existence and advancement in your being. It’s the moment you evolve into a new phase of your life and become the version of you that will thrive in this new sphere. Sounds great, doesn’t it? In reality, however, it usually sucks.
Why is this so? Because in order to welcome this new version of you and this amazing new chapter, a version of you has to die.
I’ll give an example; if you’re selfless self sacrificing martyr, you’ll have to kill this version of you in order to put yourself first and practice self care. The process will usually start with, I don’t know, resentment at the many people who withdraw from your reserves but rarely deposit back.
This will swiftly be followed by guilt as this sentiment goes against your saintly self sacrificing heart. Inner conflict will follow suit as your inner child demands to be nurtured and cries, no weeps for you to love yourself.
This inner turmoil will consume you and near drive you mad in the process while you recalibrate. Should you be fortunate, the logical conclusion will be that you cannot give what you do not have, and before you look after others, you should take care of yourself.
This is a rather specific example but I’m hoping the concept of shedding is ere apparent. The thing is when we feel this discomfort, we often shy away from it, numbing it with short-lived thrills that never quite erase it. We then fall back into the rut we’re trying to escape and the whole repeats itself. We are doomed to repeat the mistakes we fail to turn into lessons.
Before you hold a baby in your arms, you carry them for nine months and ensure tortuous labour. Before a seed eventually blooms into a splendid success, it must implode, shattering into fragments of its former self. My point? You have to fall apart in order to pick up the pieces and build something better.
Is it easy? No! But it’s worth it. The best you can do is nurture and love yourself as you shed. Surround yourself with like minded members of your tribe and allow them to walk through the hallows with you. This could be lamenting the time you’ve lost or chronicling your hopes and dreams post shedding.
Secondly, treat yourself; watch old movies that remind you of a better time, get yourself some cake, go for a massage, engage in artistic pursuits that set your soul on fire, sleep. Be kind to yourself as you shed and give thanks to the version of you that got you here.
Although there is mourning, there is greater joy and excitement for the renewal entering your life. Lastly, give yourself a pat on the back. It’s one thing to claim to be woke and on the “growth grind,” but it’s another thing completely to live it out. It you’re here, shedding and you live to tell the tale, you’ve won!
As the new year approaches, I hope you release all that no longer serves you so you can welcome and accommodate all the good that awaits you.