“I want to be like a caterpillar. Eat a lot. Sleep for a while. Wake up beautiful.”
That quote you just read – it’s hogwash. I recently saw it on social media and literally gasped aloud as I thought to myself … ‘Are you kidding me?! Be careful what you wish for!’ The process of becoming a butterfly is not at all a leisurely life of overindulgence and peaceful slumber. Metamorphosis is defined as ‘a change ….of a thing or person into a completely different one, by natural or supernatural means.’ Ouch! That sounds like it might hurt, or at the very least be quite uncomfortable. Indeed, take it from someone who has been through such a transformation.
Shedding the skin of what once was is not an easy journey. It is hard work fueled by determination, perseverance, and faith. It is accompanied with many dark, isolating, and challenging times. And pain. Yes, pain. For there can be no triumph without trial. No victory without defeat. No gain without loss. I wish it were true that we could feast, sleep, and magically awake to bask in our new found beauty. It is not the case. Those righteous wings of glory are earned.
The butterfly has become the iconic symbol of transformation and is by no means new to the subject of spirituality and soul transformation. We casually speak of the ‘change’ that is required to achieve the alluring butterfly state, but what is not often spoken of, is the process that is required to transform. I am not speaking of the scientific stages described in the trek from egg, to larva, to pupa, and at last adult, but rather the journey of the soul. The journey of the soul has no beginning and has no end. It is unpredictable and ushered by opportunities disguised as trauma, illness, and change. What does the caterpillar really know of this process? Does it know what will take place once inside the hollows of the cocoon? Does it even know that it’s becoming a butterfly? And if so, does it know what that is? Will it cease to struggle and surrender to what it can not control? Does it want to leave the discomfort of its comfortable new home? When it finally emerges from the clutches of darkness, does it know the light will hurt its eyes? And how does it fly with wings that it has never had before? ….
Coming from a space of experience and encompassing my own personal transformation, I can humbly share that it is indeed dark. It is isolating. It is painful. Stepping back into the light does hurt your eyes. The old you has passed but you do not yet know the new. The wings are wet and heavy and no one has taught you how to fly. The transformation has subsided but the transition has only just begun.
I would like to introduce you to my new series, ‘Memoirs of a Butterfly’, in which I will share the deeply intense states of … ‘becoming’.
Please stay tuned for Part 1 – ‘Life as a Caterpillar’.