UPDATE: Two days after writing this post I was lucky enough to attend a Laura Story Concert. I was a little apprehensive about going because after all it was Valentines Day! But I sucked it up and went anyway. I’d like to share the video I took of Laura performing the song Blessings, which I referenced in this blog post. (click link below) Close your eyes, listen to the words then pay close attention around the 4:47 minute mark…..The song ends yet she still has a little more to say. Listen to her words and then look at the title of this post again! It’s truly AMAZING! That was a very big God moment for me, it was in that moment that I knew he is aware of what is going on in my life! Enjoy!
“The moment you completely accept your non-peace, your non-peace becomes transformed into peace. Anything you accept fully will take you into peace. This is the miracle of surrender.” – Eckhart Tolle
When I read that quote I could picture the caterpillar in the cocoon at her weakest moment, afraid, unsure and unaware of her potential if she would just take a deep breath and surrender. Sounds easy right? How many times have we told ourselves to stop and take a deep breath, then move forward. Probably too many to count. This week I had the chance to wave my flag and surrender.
I’ve noticed that while we see the beautiful butterfly, the product of all the hard work, we rarely see the caterpillar. I visited a butterfly garden this summer and the focus was on the butterflies flying around the exhibit, but I was entranced with the caterpillars in their cocoons. The time spent in the chrysalis is the toughest part of the transformation. I would guess that there would be confusion, pain, worry and fear. Sounding familiar? They are too me. Those are exactly the feelings I dealt with while surviving my divorce, or as I like to think of it, the beginning of my time spent in the chrysalis.
I was forced to make many tough and painful decisions during that time and one of them is still with me today. It is one that I had been regretting for the last year, that has caused not only emotional pain but some financial hardship as well. I knew that I could not continue to beat myself up about it and I had resolved that it was the right thing to do at the time. I had become satisfied with the fact that it was now in my past. I was living with it and thought that I was at peace. Due to some unforeseen circumstances in my near future, I have come to a part on my journey where I need to make yet another important decision that will create change. Initially all I could feel was anxiety, so much of my life the last few years has all been about unwelcome change. That terrified me and I know I did not take the time I should have to come to the decision I had, even though I know it is the right one. I had been praying for guidance and for a specific resolution that did not come. I questioned the reasons why I was still facing the outcome of my decision. I often felt myself wanting to question my faith, unsure of the possible lesson God was trying to teach me. Then with the help of a song that had gotten me through many sleepless nights, I was reminded that my blessings may come from raindrops, my healing from tears, and if I stay strong, this too I will conquer, for this trial may be my mercy in disguise. Laura Story, Blessings. Listening to that song, and really thinking about its meaning, helped to ease my anxiety. It also gave me the chance to take a deep breath and surrender the situation to God. I realized I could no longer control any outcome whether it be the one I wanted or not and lucky for me I was about to get many unplanned hours to really think about it. Just like the caterpillar…
Just a few days after announcing my decision, I was struck down with the “nursing home flu”, which meant a 7 day quarantine. The first few days I really didn’t spend much time in deep thought but as I began to feel better and wander around my place I had the opportunity to take some inventory. I had found several files on my laptop that were left over from my divorce, notes I had written in times of sadness, and items from my marriage that I really didn’t need to be holding onto. I started to realize that I should use the downtime to fully surrender to the changes I had gone through, purge them and let myself go, in hopes that someday I can become the butterfly I am destined to be.
I spent many hours hitting the delete button, wiping the tears as I went along, feeling relief as the files were disappearing from my sight. When I got too emotional and wanting to give up, I tried to imagine myself as the caterpillar shedding a little bit of her fuzz as she transformed inside the chrysalis. After a while I felt exhilarated. I chose that moment to really sit and think about the decision I had made earlier in the week, making sure that it was truly something I could handle. I came to the conclusion that YES I can handle it. It may not be something that I hoped would happen or something that I planned for, in fact it’s quite the opposite. Was my divorce something I planned or hoped for? No, but I have come out of it changed, transformed, re-born and strong! This decision was no different and it will give me the same opportunities for growth. I can see the progress I have made and I know I am stronger, because this change, this place I will be going to, is the same spot where just a few years ago I became the strongest version of myself I had ever been.
Today, after being locked up and alone for nearly a week I can say that I am strong enough to handle this new change and I can see good in it. The positives far outweigh the negatives and with a little elbow grease, perseverance love and determination, I will come out on top in the end. Perhaps what is most important, is that with this surrender I no longer have the worry about making the initial decision in the first place. In surrendering, I have found peace.
If the caterpillar never surrendered and if there was no change, there would never be a butterfly. Take the opportunity when it is thrown at you to wave your white flag, surrender to your feelings, doubts, fears and move forward on your journey with faith, hope and love.
Have you had your chance to surrender? Leave a comment. (link is left of the post title)
Courageous Butterfly 2/11/13