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WHOSE SHOES DO YOU CHOOSE? SHOES AS A METAPHOR FOR LIFE July 27, 2011

There are those shoes that we are forced to wear due to circumstances. Dress shoes fall in that category. Those are the ones that look good  but are not usually comfortable. By the end of the occasion, you are dying to take them off and they inevitably leave their mark (typically in the form of a blister or calf pain).  We do it again and again for the “bigger purpose”  These shoes are analogous to the many roles we play and external standards imposed on us.   They serve a function but require us to live with inconveniences.

Shoes such as soccer or ballet slippers  help define us.  These shoes are special because they represent something we love and derive self esteem from.  Size changes over time but their value remains priceless– a symbol of who we dream to be.

Old worn out shoes are challenging. Though they are falling apart, we hate to part with them. This represents life transitions. Moving from one stage to anther comes with mixed feelings, the joy of moving forward and sadness of leaving something behind.

New Shoes are an interesting category. We hope, from the few short minutes trying them on in the store, that they will be comfortable from the start. Rarely is this the case. Typically, these shoes require “breaking them in.” Like in life, we must work through feelings that may hold us back. If we persevere and build resilency, changes become opportunities. Over time, we outgrow them and must move on to a new pair of shoes and the transition process begins again.