Graceful Transitions

"We are not unlike a particularly hardy crustacean. . . With each passage from one stage of human growth to the next we, too, must shed a protective structure. We are left exposed and vulnerable -- but also yeasty and embryonic again, capable of stretching in ways we hadn't known before. These sheddings may take several years or more. Coming out of each passage, though, we enter a longer and more stable period in which we can expect relative tranquility and a sense of equilibrium regained." -Gail Sheehy
Blue crab shedding its shell

I love the image in this quote. Not only does it ring true, but when we are "left exposed and vulnerable" in that in-between place we can become a little "crabby" with our nearest and dearest. 

The beauty of transition is that it can be a time of tremendous growth. Rather than fear the change, we need to look for healthy ways to stretch beyond where we have been. 

The vulnerability of transition, though uncomfortable, allows us to make deeper connections with ourselves, the Divine and others. Without our accustomed extra layer of protection we become more authentic and real. We can begin to be comfortable in our own skin.

But we have a choice. We can allow for the exposure of our true selves and grow, or we can choose to build an even more impenetrable shell. 

You probably know someone who has grown bitter, hard-edged and crotchety in their old age. You probably also know someone who has grown wiser, more loving, and full of good humor, someone who has transitioned with grace. 

Which would you rather be?

"For you bless the godly, O Lord; you surround them with your shield of love." -Psalm 5:12