What kind of shell do you carry ?

Each morning I try to start my morning off by walking down to a local beach, called “Amherst” its is a wonderful little beach. I pour my morning coffee in my travel mug slip into my cosy winter boots button up my parka and head out side to let my dog Russell run around at the beach while I gather my thoughts for the day. It gives me the opportunity to recharge, think about my day, meditate and ultimately learn something from the ocean. My morning walk usually is only about 30 minutes but those 30 minutes have become my solitude, my sacred space. A place where I can shed a tear, relax, recharge or laugh and play with my dog. On the days I miss my morning stroll I miss it deeply, its as though the ocean provides me with a source of renewed energy. The ocean teaches me lessons like the one I learned this morning. Let me share this little lesson I learned.

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Lesson 1

As I walked along the shore this morning I noticed a shell completely open, it reminded me of my life. Was  I an open person like that open shell ? I pondered this thought while staring at this simple white shell. I would like to think I am but I suppose with age and time I have become more closed. I know who I am and as the years have passed I have matured into a confident woman. However with this confidence I am at risk of closing myself off. Closing myself to opportunities, change or new opinions. When we open our self we risk vulnerability, we might face ridicule or rejection. We become prey to others thoughts, opinions and ideas of who we are. I think even starting a blog is a small way of opening up.While I am excited and passionate about sharing my journey it is a scary place. Will I be judged ? and if I am judged does it matter ? While thinking about the opening up process I noticed a closed shell. The closed shell felt safe. I could not see inside the shell so I could not judge the inside. I can imagine this shell was cosy and warm but there was not a lot of space to share with others. It was if the heart had been closed off. As if the shell had once been open but had been deeply wounded. The shell had closed in anger and vowed to never open up, this way the contents of what lay inside the shell should not be hurt by others. The closed shell felt attractive but lonely. Again I asked myself which shell are you ?

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I think at times I have been both shells, at times open and at times closed. As I wandered a bit further I noticed a shell that was broken open.I could deeply relate to this shell. When I was young I was energetic, passionate, willing to embrace opportunities and love. However this openness left me vulnerable and my heart indeed was broken. That shell reminded me of how I felt when my husband packed his bags and left my heart broken open at the door. I remember feeling completely devastated and like a total failure. My shell or mask was broken and I had no idea where the ocean would carry me ? Would I be tossed about like other shells and left in a million pieces or would I recover, or would I close off permanently ? It was as if these shells were asking me to pick which shell I carried around.

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As I walked farther down the beach I noticed many broken shells lying together. Huddled desperately trying to comfort each other.Too broken dependent for the safety and security of others. Looking farther ahead it was if the sand turned to broken shells.

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Thousands upon thousand of shells that had been crushed and broken, but the most interesting thing  happened I noticed the beauty of the beach. Each one of those shards of shell had once been a full shell but the waves, the tides, the winds and rocks and logs of life had taken the shell and it was no longer. The shell however was just a shell, an outward cover.  I noticed the shell of an oyster

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it looked so beautiful but the pearl was gone. Was it ripped open and carried away or had the pearl been turned into a beautiful piece of jewellery ?

As I looked around and thought about and related to the shells I became intrigued by the sand which once had been thousands of shells. Was that a representation of our lives after we pass ? It seemed to me one day our outer shells would no longer exist but that  our lives in some small way would become a tiny grain of sand in the beach of a future where our grandchildren and descendants would wander and play.

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