Seagull Symbolism


I was napping on the beach this week and when I woke up one seagull was uncomfortably close to me. He was all by himself and I can assure you, I had no food on me. I went about my business and over the next hour or so he kept reappearing. I moved to my beach chair and was reading my book (I know rough day for me right!) and I looked up a couple times to find him on my towel. I got to thinking, is there meaning around seagulls? I know dreams can be interpreted and sometimes when you see an animal continuing to reappear in your life it can mean something as well. This seagull was all by himself and seagulls usually stay in a flock. The rest of them were on the other side of the beach. He kept appearing on my towel or somewhere close me and nothing else was around me. I went home to research if there is a meaning and came across quite a few websites. I have added some quotes from several different websites I found and bolded the parts that jumped out at me. The parts in italics are just thoughts I had about each section. This is what I found:

“Seagulls go where they can find the best food. They are notorious for scavenging landfills, picking over refuse in parking lots, and other garbage sites. In a symbolic sense, the seagull reminds us to move where the best resources might be. Many of us deny ourselves opportunities because we feel safe in our comfort zone. Not so for the opportunistic seagull. These birds may be a sign to fly out of our realm of comfort, maybe take a risk, and do so with the goal of finding better conditions for our well-being.” {I’m not sure about this, except for the part of ‘finding better conditions for my well-being.’ I’m completely out of my comfort zone in the last year and I’m searching for my new path and what’s right for my life and my health.}

“Their tendency to pick over wastelands of trash left behind by humans is also symbolic, in my mind. It speaks to me of recycling. The seagull is the ultimate scavenger. When seagulls show up on my scene, it makes me mindful of making the most out of what I have. I’m reminded of the value of resources, and not to be wasteful.” {hmmmm, now that’s some food for thought, isn’t it? I have learned this lesson lately for sure. Although life is difficult right now, I know it could always be worse and I am very grateful for what I do have. While a lot has been taken from me, I still have a lot. I choose to focus on what I do have and to be positive because I believe it is the only way for me to really heal. There’s just no real point in focusing on what’s been lost, taken or changed.}

“The word “gull” is derived from “gullible”. It’s named thusly, presumably because the seagull will swallow anything it can cram down its gullet. Symbolically, this begs the question: “Do we swallow everything we hear or see?” In essence, this aspect of seagull symbolism encourages using our wits to determine the truth. This seagull behavior reminds us to discern, rather than blindly follow without further investigation.” {Well as much as I hate to admit it, I am pretty gullible, but I don’t think that’s why this seagull came into my life this week. Although, there is something to be said about not swallowing everything we hear or see. I like to stay curious and inquisitive about life. I think it broadens my horizons and let’s me grow professionally and personally.}

“Seagulls are quite chatty. They have no problems squawking and letting their voices be heard. As far as the symbolic meaning of seagulls goes, this is a pretty big sign. Seagulls might be a reminder to find our voices, and be fearless about speaking our minds.” {Now this hits really close to home and totally makes sense on the potential purpose of this bird showing itself to me. I have a lot going on lately where I need to stay true to who I am and to let my voice be heard. Recovery is hard and often times can leave you feeling like you’re stranded on an island all alone. The most important thing to me during my recovery time, is choosing where to spend my time and energy. I just need a lot of love and support and when people don’t understand what I’m going through and don’t seem to care to get to know more about it, I choose to not waste my energy in trying to make them understand. That is their choice and this is mine. I have found my voice, but I haven’t conquered being fearless about speaking my mind. And honestly, in some ways I don’t think it’s important to let my opinions be known and heard. Sometimes I just want to process my feelings and then decide whether I will talk about them or not.}

“All gulls, like many seabirds, swallow their prey whole. To look at the meaning of seagull we need to understand the important relationship here between the name “gull” and the words “gullet” and “gullible”. It seems that the term gullet developed first in reference to throat with the name gull referring to the bird following a couple hundred years later. The word gullible followed an earlier use of the general term gull which meant to dupe or sucker in reference to ‘someone who will swallow anything thrown at him.’ We have added the negative connotation to the idea of a person that believes anything he’s fed, but when looking at the gull we see that evolutionarily they’ve done extremely well with this approach. Once again, we see the theme of not taking anything for granted and not leaving any opportunity untapped. Are you passing possible opportunities, new viewpoints, or ordinary beliefs by because you’re worried what others may think of you if you don’t appear discerning? Are you picking apart the divine gifts in your life because they aren’t impressive or stunning enough? Maybe it’s time to drop the judgement for awhile and allow yourself to gulp life in.”

“There is a theme of conventionality and commonality here and it’s worth challenging the parts of yourself that you consider ordinary. Being ordinary is not a handicap. Even in their abilities, gulls are pretty undistinguished. They aren’t the deepest divers, fastest fliers, or most aggressive fishermen, but because they haven’t specialized they have been able to adapt and live all over the world in a vast realm of habitats. You may want to consider stepping out of a specialization for awhile and being more flexible. {I’ll repeat that again, “being ordinary is not a handicap.” Wow. Just wow. New mantra! I’ll be repeating that to myself from now on. It’s not so much about caring about being ordinary, it’s the handicap part that I find so much meaning in. Both literally and figuratively.}

“If Seagull has flown across your path: It’s time to take a different perspective on things. Take a moment and step back from everything that you are currently dealing with and look at it from a different angle. Your solution lies in changing your attitude towards the problem at hand. Soar above the drama and look through your own emotional boundaries so that you can find creative new ways to move forward. There is a clue in using the long hidden resources you already have. Alternatively Seagull is reminding you that everything has a purpose and that there are currently many things in your life that need to be redefined and reassigned. Take a moment to sort through the clutter and let go of that which you can no longer use. There is always opportunity in everything and it can be found in the most unlikely places. Things may seem a little barren and unproductive right now, however even the most unlikely places can bear an opportunity for your new resources. The point is to realize that you are in this place and time for a reason. Remain optimistic and know that this reason will be revealed. Trust your instincts and follow through.” {Basically, I should have just bolded this whole paragraph! I love every word of it. I have struggled with not feeling like I have a purpose anymore. I don’t mean that to sound pathetic or dramatic. I strictly mean it as factual. This was what made being bedridden the hardest and I still struggle some days with similar feelings. I don’t work, I can’t live my “normal” life or my life as I use to know it. I have searched high and low for new hobbies that fulfill me mentally, physically and spiritually and so far have come up short. I strive to have a purpose or goal for each day and I have made my therapies my new job, but it’s just not enough. It’s not what my purpose is and it’s not keeping me satisfied. I want more from life and I want more to show for myself. I will continue my search and never give up, but somedays are harder than others with my restrictions and disabilities.}



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