Clouds, trees, animals, dandelions, and lightening bugs are memories of my childhood that made me feel alive and made me forget many uncomfortable experiences as I was growing up. Living my childhood in the age before computers being outside was a complete and utter luxury. I loved hanging outside until dusk playing games, running through fields, and lying on my back mesmerized by images the big puffy white clouds made framing a beautiful blue sky. But nothing excited me more and made my heart smile bigger than seeing butterflies!
I can think of no other creation on earth that endures such a complete transformation from a caterpillar who awakens into a gorgeous butterfly! As I have watched the stages of every butterfly I have been blessed to know I have been amazed at all the changes from the small egg to the larva growing until it splits its skin to the chrysalis hidden in leaves and underground and finally emerging as beautiful variety of colors of butterflies.
Never having had a conversation with the stages of a butterfly, I cannot bear witness to any evidence, but I do not think any of the individual stages ever complained about the stage each found itself.
Reflecting on the many transformations of my life, I can honestly tell you at many stages I did complain about the turns and shifts I found myself. There were multiple times I begged the Universe to let me disappear and hide in a dark cave until what felt like a doomed crisis passed. Had I been given an instruction booklet to see that as I wiggled and squirmed through each metamorphic stage I would have realized it is always the journey, not the destination, where the learning is revealed.
I remember a boyfriend in the sixth grade who gave me his sweater as a young love commitment , and I was so proud to wear it all day, take it home, only to be told by my Mother I had to return it the next day! I was learning the lesson of impermanence. Impermanence was a stage that proved to me that nothing lasts forever. It was not very long after I returned his sweater that the boy I was so enthralled with moved away, and I thought my heart would not stop breaking. It was a stage of my transformation in learning that throughout my life at all ages people would come and go, and that I would not die though it sure felt like I would.
Another stage of my transformation came when I tried out to be a Junior Varsity cheerleader, and did not get chosen. I was devastated. Even though I was clumsy and uncoordinated in my younger years, I thought I could get out there and scream cheers and do gymnastic moves and the pain of rejection hurt my young heart and ego tremendously. That transformation stage was called acceptance. It took some time for my transition into acceptance to work through shame which was born from the rejection. Growing up is not always easy, but the transformation of who I was into who I am today was so worth it. I just did not know I would one day become a butterfly!
Many other stages characterized my transformations. One of the most challenging was when my vibrations kept changing and expanding, and people’s vibrational levels that no longer resonated with mine, or I with theirs, resulted in many of us going separate ways. I thought I was doing something wrong in relationships. I did not know I was only changing and transforming . Looking back, I am grateful for the changes, for the growth, and for the ones who were teachers of powerful lessons along the way..although at first I thought they were abandoning me.
I thank each of those butterflies who through their beautiful stages have taught me to honor, love, and respect each stage of my own life as I, like those caterpillars, kept stretching out of my familiar skin and seemingly without my permission, transformed me into the unique person I am today. Accepting and loving the who I am has taken time, but boy-oh-boy has it been worth it! I understand now that the journey, each part of it, has helped me even more than the final metamorphosis. I am not saying I am not thrilled to be on the other side of the changing stages because I am. However, as I continue to transform in different areas of my life, I am able to practice levels of gratitude for each part of all the journeys and opportunities that come along. Grateful still, as I know more transformations are coming. I look forward to the unfolding. Butterflies are great teachers in my world.