The Death and Rebirth of Self

Sometimes a part of us must die before another part can come to life.

Sometimes a part of us must die before another part can come to life. Even though this is a natural and necessary part of our growth, it is often painful or confusing, and disorienting if we don’t realize what’s happening. Confusion and disorientation are often the messengers that tell us a shift within us. As we move from childhood to adolescence and beyond, these shifts happen throughout the lives of all humans. From one phase to another, with each transition, we find ourselves saying goodbye to an old friend, the identity that we formed to suit, survive & move through a particular time.

We form these identities within us through our habits, likes, feelings & priorities that reflect outside in our behavioral patterns, in relationships, or at work. And when we shift, those areas of our life become unsettled. If we take the time to look into the changing surface of things, we will find that a shift is taking place within us. For example, we may go through one whole chapter of our lives creating a protective shell around ourselves because we need it to heal from some early trauma. One day, though, we may feel confined and restless, wanting to move outside the shelter we needed for so long; the new part of ourselves cannot be born within the confines of the shell our old self needed to survive.

We may feel a strange mixture of exhilaration and sadness as we say goodbye to a part of ourselves that is dying and make way for a whole new identity to emerge. We may find inspiration in working with the image of an animal who molts or sheds to make way for a new skin, fur, or feathers to emerge. For example, keeping a duck feather or some other symbol of transformation can remind us that death and rebirth are simply nature’s way of evolving. We can surrender to this process, letting go of our past self with great love and gratitude and welcoming the new with an open mind and heart, ready for our next phase of life.

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