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Borrowing From Others #processing

Delighting in Hermit crabs has been the entertainment of the week. Watching the tiny spiraled homes in varying shapes and sizes moving around the grass, sand, and walkways have been a joy.

These little creatures are known for their borrowed shells that balance precariously atop their miniature crab bodies. They ease into a shell that fits them just so, and once outgrown they pass it on to one of their fellow crab mates.

Like our little beach friends, we consciously and unconsciously borrow from each other. We pick up one another’s mannerisms and sayings. We hear stories or anecdotes that touch us somehow and pass them on. We are inspired by the choices and perseverance of others that then propel us forward toward our personal goals.

Another less obvious way that we borrow from each other is in the way that we may feel crabby about something someone else does. We may even rant a bit about how much someone’s behavior really bugs us. I imagine you’ve heard the saying, “If you can’t stand something about someone, then take a look at yourself because you probably do the same thing”.

Even deeper still, we will tend to watch movies, or retell stories that help us to process our own experiences which is another form of borrowing. Why do we do this? We borrow the stories and lives of others in this way because it is a gentle form of working over experiences without being swept away.

You can imagine a Hermit Crab wouldn’t get very far carrying a home that weighs him down. His soft exoskeleton couldn’t bare the size of it. We are similar in that we can only process what our brains have the capacity to withstand. We need time to expand and develop the ability to self-regulate before we are able to process certain experiences and deepen our understanding.

Much like a hermit crab, we will move on to the next borrowed home once we’ve outgrown it.

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