Throw off your exoskeleton and rejoice!

close up of a crab peeking out of its carapace

Lately I have felt like I’ve been shedding a multitude of outgrown skins. Or shells, more accurately. Carapaces. That’s a nice word, isn’t it? Carapaces.

It’s not that I’ve ‘grown’, per se – it’s that I’ve finally allowed myself to expand to the size I rightfully am. Or, at least, a lot closer to the size I rightfully am. I’m not totally sure I’m done with my moulting yet, to be honest. But I’ve been discarding limiting beliefs at such a velocity I can barely keep up with myself, which is part of the reason everything over here has been a little inconsistent of late.

It’s humbling, because I thought I was pretty well-developed in this respect. My tagline, for God’s sake, is ‘Shifting into new paradigms’. I love to change my mind. I delight in uncharted territory. A vast expanse of nothingness makes me grin internally. Never mind outside the box, I like to think outside the Universe!

At least, in theory.

Because, in practice, I’ve been keeping myself stuck. I’ve been confining myself within spaces not meant for me. Contorting myself into shapes not my own.

And it seems so fucking obvious looking back. So much so, I wonder how I could possibly have fallen victim to it. This wasn’t exactly minor stuff. Frankly it’s been kind of remedial.

The ways I’ve been contracted are very specific to me, of course.

For instance, I’ve held onto the notion that I needed to balance my spirituality with logical reasoning for a long while, without even realising that my training, my relationships, my unconscious biases were constantly weighting the scales in logic’s favour. I’ve been, to some extent, bashful about my mystical leanings. I’ve been trying to show you the sense of it, when really what I love is the poetry.

The truth is, I love the unfathomable. I love that you just can’t fathom it. So why was I glorifying the fathoming? Even when I wasn’t, I was.

“Every human being is an artist” – Joseph Beuys. That quote has been with me, kind of ever-present, since my teens. But I’ve stifled The Artist in me for too long now. Instead, I nourished and nurtured The Scientist. Somehow it became a sense of duty for me. And probably a status. And, in the end, an ingrained pattern that I wasn’t anywhere near as conscious of as I thought I was. It became a part of my identity that stifled my true nature.

Your carapace will be different from mine. But I’m almost certain you have one that you’re overdue to slide on out of. Feel around the edges of yourself. Is there a patch just itching to be peeled away? Go on, give it a tug.

Who are you? Who have you been? Who do you want to be?

What do you believe about who you’re supposed to be?

What parts of you can’t breathe right now?

I promise you, it’s worth the trouble to free them from their casing.

[Photo by David Clode]

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