Shedding Shells

June 19, 2020

Photo by Javardh on Unsplash

“Perhaps middle age is, or should be, a period of shedding shells; the shell of ambition, the shell of material accumulations and possessions, the shell of the ego. Perhaps one can shed at this stage in life as one sheds in beach-living; one’s pride, one’s false ambitions, one’s mask, one’s armor. Was that armor not put on to protect one from the competitive world? If one ceases to compete, does one not need it? Perhaps one can at last in middle age, if not earlier, be completely oneself. And what a liberation that would be!
—Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Gift From the Sea

Free is one of my words of the year. So far, 2020 has been stripping away my “shells.” I’m feeling raw, but this quote from Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s beautiful Gift From the Sea is encouraging me to see the freedom that can follow that process.

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4 comments

  1. Kathy this is a great quote...isn't it amazing that when we get older we truly see what really matters and the things that are insignificant we tend to shed. Hope you are doing well my friend. Good news I am writing this to you from our local library who just this week opened its doors for us to come in and browse again. Yeah! Have a great weekend. Hugs!

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    1. Debbie--how exciting! Our library is still doing contactless curbside pickup, but our area is having a spike in COVID cases, so that's probably a good idea.

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  2. I didn't shed any of those shells until "older" age. Middle age was still a time of being in the work world where achievement mattered...Oh, yes, such freedom comes with shedding, especially the shell of ego, which is less strong than ever before...Beautifully written, I need to read that book. Today I thought of my word for the last year, or perhaps it's my word for the upcoming year: "Miracles." (in the midst of such turmoil too...)

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    1. You inspire me, Rita. I hope your life is full of miracles, this year and every year!

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