08. Swords, the Mussel

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Mussels are odd creatures, in fact we might not even consider them animals at all. It is hard to show any compassion to a creature that stays in one place, protected by its shell, for its whole life. It is similarly difficult to show compassion to a person who has done the same. Never moving on, never growing skills, never facing your fears is not an imprisonment of a place, it is an imprisonment of the mind. We shelter ourselves and refuse to see life any differently from what we think we know. It is comfortable not to be moved by the crashing of the sea. Little do we know there is more to life beyond the crashing of waves alone. Behind that toughened shell is a soft and vulnerable interior, with its own sense of purpose and duty. Telling yourself that you belong where you are like a Mussel does denies the ability to connect to others and to see exactly what you are capable in this life. But nobody else is making you stay either. The Mussel reminds us to be mindful of our surrounding, to take personal responsibility for ourselves, our situations, and getting ourselves out of it as well.

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