As my family and I prepare for our move, we are packing up the contents of the house that we have lived in for the past nine years. As we go about our lives, we see the people we are used to seeing and drive the roads we are used to driving to get to the places that we often go. All that will change abruptly in about a week. We are actively, willingly, shedding our collective skin.
Life for us will not get better or worse when we are in a new place, doing new things. We will become familiar with new places, spaces and people. We will develop new routines and habits. We will become new people. This is not different than the new people we become each day in our familiar environment, but it is a lot of changes all at once, so we are keenly aware of the transformation.
Shedding skin is painful. We are not snakes. Our skin has not died. It is vibrant and will continue doing its thing as we move out from under it. We are attached to the many aspects of our environment, the people, places, sights and sounds. This environment that has sustained our lives over these years will no longer serve us as it has. It is comforting to know that an environment can sustain us.
We are fortunate to be able to make such a change at our own volition. We have given ourselves time to appreciate what and who we have around us. We cherish our attachments, even though we know that they contribute to our pain. Feeling the pain of breaking cherished attachments is a wonderful exercise in mindfulness.
It’s happening whether we are aware of it or not. When our skin drops off, it’s easy to be aware.