How quickly this year has flown by. I feel like just yesterday I was celebrating the new year and yet that feels like a whole lifetime ago. This year has been a series of deaths and rebirths, a revisiting of my old selves before letting them go again. This cycle becomes more apparent in the fall time, where our exterior environment begins to reflect our own internal shedding. This is not a new concept. Instead it is a concept we revisit every year in our lives, whether we notice it or not.
Lately I’ve been feeling my own internal stuckness, of wanting to stay as the person I am. But just as hermit crabs need to find larger and larger shells to live in as they grow, we too need to allow ourselves to move into new homes as we grow in this lifetime. We do not need to stay in the old house that no longer fits our likes, dislikes, and dreams no matter how convenient or necessary it seems. Eventually we have to abide by the call of the universe to move out.
Now this isn’t the time to run away from our responsibilities all together but this is a good time to take stock in the many layers we call our personality, routine, and community. What parts have we lost interest in or grown out of? Which parts are we just dragging along because they fit our ideal life. Sometimes this comes with a clearing out but in other cases this comes as just appreciating who you once were and then letting go. A small personal story, I once bought a pair of shorts that I really did not fit into all the way back in high school, but they were so cute and edgy. I took them with me to college in hopes one day I would fit into them and then my idolized self would be realized. Between college and moving into the real world I lost track of these shorts that I had dragged to every new apartment. Now, 10+ years later, I found these shorts stored away with my old things at my parents’ house. I now fit into them but these shorts no longer fit into me. My whole style and attitude has changed since then. When I found these again I could do nothing but laugh. I laughed at not only my old self and how much those shorts meant to her but also at how much I had changed since then without noticing. The beautiful part is that this old life is not bad or wrong, it is just different. One day I will look back on the things I have now and say “wow, that was a different life” just as I did that day looking through that old box.
All this is to say take stock in all the old lives you lived. Look through old boxes, listen to old music, watch old movies. You could even contact an old friend, you don’t have to start up a new relationship, but just to say how much you appreciated having them visit you on your journey. To go further take time to sit and meditate with your old selves. You can light a candle or burn some incense that reminds you of a certain time in your life. Ask your old self what were their dreams, goals, loves and hates. What did they envision their lives to be in the here and now. Allow whatever comes up to come up. Don’t be afraid if you find old wounds you may not have worked through, just note them and let them exist without the need to fix or change them. Once you are done give your older self a big hug and tell them thank you. You wouldn’t be you without them. Take the time to journal after about anything that has come up for you. This may be things you are glad are gone, things you want to work through, or things you want to bring back into your current life. Let there be no judgement here. Lastly, give thanks to yourself for just being you. You are a gift to this world just as you are.