Limited to free: Caterpillar to butterfly
Where does transformation come from?
I have felt stuck in my life before, seemingly caught in a spiral that closes in upon itself. I’ve felt helpless, isolated, separate. I was truly there, feeling it, living it within my own head, my own body. As if I were shrouded in a limiting cocoon.
But it was not continual.
There have also been times where I’ve felt completely free. As if I were walking on an open path that had infinite possibilities, endless choices. With nothing keeping me from stretching my arms and being as large and taking up a much space as I wanted to.
Why does the movement within ourselves go from stuck to free? How does it happen? Is it a decision? Is it even conscious? Is it the result of many small and meaningful life choices? Or does it come about suddenly after an a-ha moment?
If you asked the caterpillar they’d likely say it’s the culmination of many small, yet significant, choices or actions. And I would agree with them. After all, they know. They are in their own cocoon until they have completely changed and transformed into a form of themselves that sets them free.
But there could also be an argument for the a-ha moment too.
When that caterpillar has changed completely into their butterfly form, they must still choose to leave the safety of their cocoon. Their cocoon goes from being a hidden place of transformation into a deadly, constrictive prison.
Where the caterpillar once felt comfortable, the butterfly feels trapped.
And for a time, not that long ago, I felt like a caterpillar. I told people I was hibernating, and winter was the perfect excuse, but I was actually feeling very caught.
And then rather suddenly I felt free, as if I had been transforming all along, and I’d reached the point where it was break out or die.
And since I’m never one to give up, I broke free. And everything now seems possible again.
It is so important to allow ourselves our times of transformation–with the firm knowledge that we can never give up no matter how separate or alone we may feel.
That is why I encourage people to never completely lose faith. I know where that takes people.
Transforming is hard. It can be painful. Even long. But it is never fruitless.
It is part of being truly alive.
And you’re not alone when you’re in pain, no more that you’re alone when you’re joyous.
You are one in the same after all.
Like the caterpillar to the butterfly, each time you transform you become more who you truly are than you were before.
From the series, Write On! by Jacqueline Snider, writer and editor
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