Apr 10 2017

Feeling Under Pressure

Category: Choices,ControlPatricia @ 6:08 pm

lobster

 

Growth can be uncomfortable and stressful.  Change is difficult. A lobster doesn’t have a choice. He has to change. He literally outgrows his shell. He must act in order to survive. And that action literally puts his survival at risk. Imagine the stress! I wonder if a lobster finds it difficult to decide when it’s time to leave the past behind and create something new.

In order for a lobster to grow, it must periodically shed its hard shell. The act of escaping from the old shell is known as ecdysis. This word comes from the Greek, ekdysis, meaning “getting out”.  Since lobsters continue to grow throughout their lives, they spend much of their time either preparing for or recovering from getting out.

Ecdysis is a complicated process. Preparation is required. A new exoskeleton is created beneath the old one. If any limbs have been lost, they begin to regenerate. The lobster’s body knows just what to do. It removes blood and causes appendages to dissolve. The shell opens allowing the lobster to withdraw its shriveled limbs from the old skeleton. The escape can take anywhere from several minutes to more than half an hour to complete. If the shedding is prolonged, it usually results in death because the lobster in the midst of ecdysis is entirely helpless and vulnerable, virtually unable to move. Once freed, the lobster remains secluded for several days while its shell hardens. Within the first five to seven years of its life, a lobster may shed its shell up to 25 times. It gets easier, however. Adult lobsters only shed about once every one or two years.

The lobster is uncomfortable with the ways things are. It feels itself under pressure. Its growth has created stress and the stress is building. The lobster knows what to do. It has to get out. It doesn’t fight the change. It doesn’t think about whether it is worthy of changing; or if it deserves to live a bigger life. It doesn’t evaluate whether it has all the facts or whether it knows how to make the change.

What can we learn from the lobster? Lobster is a symbol of solitude and regeneration; the need to shed the outer shell and to go within. Personal growth lies within our inner world. Lobsters continually transform themselves into something bigger, casting off what restricts them. They get out of their own way! And they do it without judgment or ego! Lobsters take a big risk, leaving themselves vulnerable and alone, stripped of all protection. They have faith in their ability to create a new version of themselves.

Lobster tells us to not let the opinions and restrictions of the outside world define you. Heed your own instincts. Trust yourself. Break free and continue to grow throughout your life. Seek solace in solitude and take that time to better understand yourself and your life’s mission. When you go within, you find your true happiness and fulfillment. And you come out bigger and better than you were before. All of life is change and growth is renewal.

 

 

 

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