March is nearing its end, and I can’t believe that it was nearly a month ago that I was soaking in the Pacific sun on the T-Street Beach of San Clemente, California.
I soaked in a little too much sun, actually.
A naturally olive-toned gal, I typically skip the sunscreen on my body (not my face, I’d prefer to delay wrinkles a while). This particular trip was no different…. and I ended up with a pretty gnarly sunburn. Weeks later, the skin on my calves and thighs made me look like a snake in ecdysis.
I heard somewhere that you shed all of your skin in 27 days. I thought this was an absolutely fascinating concept. So, I did what anyone would do…. I googled it. Here’s what I found:
Humans shed about 600,000 particles of skin every hour – about 1.5 pounds a year. By 70 years of age, an average person will have lost 105 pounds of skin. Humans shed and re-grow outer skin cells about every 27 days – almost 1,000 new skins in a lifetime.ezslinger.com
As many people smarter than I have stated over and over again, we are new every day. Each day is a fresh start. Every morning holds new beginnings.
I totally get this idea, and support it.
In other ways, I understand that we may need 27 days (or many more) to allow ourselves to shed that weight, that deadness, the thing that is no longer serving us… and allow healing and growth to take place.
I’m pretty sure it was a podcast that discussed this topic of shedding skin every 27 days, most likely my girl Katy Bellotte of the Thick and Thin Podcast (highly recommend!). It was discussed that even when you go through a breakup (friend, family, significant other, etc.) you get lonely for human touch perhaps more than you actually miss the other person.
But then, sweet friend, you must remember, that your skin will not be the same skin in 27 days.
In 27 days, you skin will not have been touched by that person. or hurt by the sun’s rays. or scraped by a fall on the ice. or dry from the harshness of the winter. (I definitely won’t have the reminder I left on my hand… that seems to shed within minutes and then I’m left wondering what I was supposed to do.)
In 27 days, your skin is made new to serve you in a different purpose. This month, you may burn your hand making a new dish or you may moisturize every single day. This new skin will live to its full life expectancy, and in 27 days you can start a new story in the shell of what holds in all that is you.
Skin is just that — our shell. Our hearts and minds and souls may need a hell of a lot longer than 27 days to heal. I get that. I feel that. Some days I cry that my healing is taking longer than others, and my friends (bless their souls) are there to remind me that there is no timeline to my personal okay-ness about anything. We all hurt, some are just better at hiding it. Some people just have a thick skin. (Yeah, that pun was intended.)
While your skin sticks to a timeline… your soul does not. Some things, like a touch or a sunburn, will no longer reside on your skin within this 27 day timeline.
Take the time to find your okay-ness.
But in the meantime, let’s raise a glass:
- Here’s to shedding a layer that’s no longer serving us.
- Here’s to shedding deadness and darkness within and upon us.
- Here’s to shedding unrealistic or unmet expectations, broken hopes, and dreams that are no longer our dreams.
- Here’s to shedding all that is no longer me.
- Here’s to growth and healing when the layer is gone.
Here’s to 27 days.
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