Why People and Decorator Crabs are Alike

I’m not crazy…really…but after watching my strange little crab, I have started to realize that we are not all that different – seriously.

That crazy picture above looks a lot like Bart, but Bart wouldn’t come out of his cave for a picture, maybe next time.

Bart is my decorator crab. He is about 4 inches across if you stretched his legs out at the widest. Not that you could really tell anything else about him, such as where his mouth or eyes are, or if there are any pinchers.

When I got him he looked more like a normal crab.

You might ask, “Why does he look like a pile of trash now?” That is a good question!

Well, he roams around the aquarium at night, picking up random trash and gluing it to his shell.

Before getting Bart my understanding of decorator crabs was a little different. I saw videos and pictures of cute crabs that walked around with little anemones and corals living on them. Some glued pretty shells to their exoskeleton. They were very decorated.

Not our Bart! He is a walking buffet for the cleaner shrimp in our tank. When our anemone drops pieces of raw? shrimp, Bart picks them up and glues them to himself, and also has a lot of green fuzzy algae growing on himself.

Why do I suggest that people have something in common with decorator crabs?

As we go through life we accumulate baggage. Now, we might not (hopefully) glue it on our external selves, but many of us choose to carry it along with us for years.

A fascinating thing that happens with all crabs is when they grow and molt. Bart will molt every month or two and completely shed that entire garbage covered exoskeleton. It is fascinating!

One time I thought I had a dead crab in the tank.

Will he walk away from that trash pile? Nope. He will take all of that trash off of the old one and redecorate the new one with it! (ewww)

What do many people – WE – do when given the option to walk away from hurt and anger in their past, or in their lives?

Quite often we hold on to it, and shove it all in the big heavy metaphorical backpack that we carry through life. Its full of rocks, and smelly shrimp pieces, and all kinds of garbage that has been dumped in our lives from other people.

At any time we could choose to take off that backpack and leave it at the side of the road, and simply walk away from it. It would be fine, rotting right there. We would go on, unburdened and be able to finally able stand up straight and stretch! We would be free.

How do we do that? It’s actually a simple process. You forgive others. Forgive yourself. You don’t have to say anything to anyone. No ceremony. No rituals. No formalities. Just let it go. Who ever hurt you doesn’t get one more day of free rent in your thoughts!

And the great thing is that by doing that, you win!

Oohh, I got a little serious there! ??

I did say at the beginning that I had a fun printable for you! Perhaps you are up to seeing how much your life is cluttered by stuff that you might not want to carry around in your metaphorical backpack.

You CAN do everything….just not all at once.



About Cara Boardwine

Cara is a life coach for women who are chronic squirrel chasers and prone to falling into rabbit holes. As a multi-focused creator herself, she has a varied and interesting background including: homeschooling two daughters, while selling books on Amazon, rehabbing raccoons, raising ornamental pheasants, running a local youth group and writing novels that she wouldn’t let anyone read. Yes – that was all at the same time. Visit her at