Waiting Patiently…Seriously?!


waitingThis has to be one of the most confusing phrases I’ve heard, and I’ve heard a lot!. During my life trial, I was told repeatedly what a patient woman I was.   Here is the question, how can you be waiting patiently, or even patiently waiting, if you are in fact engaged in the act of waiting?

Waiting:   The action of staying where one is or delaying action until a particular time or until something else happens.    Antonym:  Go, Act, Do

 Patiently:   In a way that shows tolerance of delays, problems or suffering without becoming annoyed or anxious.    Antonym: Hostile, impatient, agitated

When we wait, it is often because we need or want something to happen and sometimes not by choice. I would guess that if we are waiting for something that we have chosen, like an upcoming vacation or something of that nature, then yes, maybe we could be patient about it.  However, what about when we are waiting for the light at the end of a tunnel, or for a hardship to end?  How in those times, can we practice patience?  Think about the last time you were waiting at a red light that seemed to go on forever, were you feeling agitated, or did you hear the sounds of chirping birds?  Being in the act of waiting, I think, automatically makes for an impatient environment.

Looking back on the times when I was waiting and feeling agitated or annoyed, those are the times when people told me what a patient woman I was, when in fact I was the opposite. Either I did a good job of hiding my frustration, or that phrase is just one that will forever be misused.

There are so many situations in life that call for us to wait and perhaps we should be spending that time in a state of patience, but for most, it becomes an anxious state. In these intolerant circumstances, our pulse rises, our palms sweat, we become irritable and highly emotional, none of which are good for our soul or daily living.  These types of reactions can make us ugly, turning us into a not so friendly, unattractive version of ourselves and can be detrimental to our future.

Let us try to put this misused phrase into practice. Have you ever seen an ugly butterfly?  It may surprise you, but I have seen a few!  These particular butterflies have tattered wings and I often wondered if they were weakened in the chrysalis or just a little beat up from life.  I assume it is the latter, but what if they are “ugly” due to the way they waited in the chrysalis.  I do not know what the caterpillar goes through emotionally or mentally, if anything at all.  What I do know is that they are forced to wait, and not by choice.

Let us think about what it might feel like to wait in the chrysalis. If the caterpillar were “waiting patiently”, I would imagine the environment as being dark but warm; lonely but quiet; constricted but free.   perfect peaceIn the dark, it senses the warmth provided by its surrounding cover easing it gently into a calmness.  When it is lonely, the intimacy provides a beautiful quiet, and in the small space, it knows that hanging on just a bit longer, will lead to ultimate freedom.  What I think this all means is that the patient part of waiting is a choice.

I say, it is worth a try! Next time you are stuck in traffic or on the verge of a panic because something has not happened yet, practice being a caterpillar just for a moment and let the stillness take you to new heights!

Do you have tips on how to “wait patiently”? Please share in the comments.

Kimberly, Courageous Butterfly

Related Topics

The Waiting, Jamie Grace

Do you think the caterpillar is afraid to turn into a butterfly? Bob Regnerus

Waiting Is Hard

Waiting for a reason

Hello World…let’s fly


“Hello world!  I know I have been away for quite some time; life has taken me to places both familiar and unknown”, said the butterfly.   ©KA    

flyLast week during a conversation, it came up that the caterpillar does not know that a struggle is coming, or that it will be transformed into something more beautiful than it once was.  Many of us do not know the storms that lie ahead or how we will be changed because of them.  The difference between our struggle and that of the caterpillar, is the fact that we remember most of what we’ve gone through.  Some say, the butterfly, once it emerges only has memory of its time just before entering the chrysalis.  I can’t decide which is better, remembering every moment of the struggle, or just the very end.

Studies completed on the brain of a caterpillar and that of a butterfly have shown that some memory can be retained after metamorphosis if it was created in the later stages of caterpillar life.  Those studies involve smells with a shock to the caterpillar and when the same scent is offered to the butterfly, it avoided those scents proposing that it remembered the shock.

What if we applied this to a traumatic life event?  It takes me back to times through my healing process where situations or events would bring out feelings of fear and remind me of moments that were hurtful for me.  Even though it is hard to remember what we have gone through, I think we also can learn a lot of lessons through that pain.  I wonder if the butterfly is missing out on some of that since it doesn’t remember most of it’s life as the caterpillar.  Or…is that a blessing in disguise?  I suppose it depends on the situation and how each of us responds to our own healing environment.

The caterpillar could not prepare for what was about to happen, and many times we do not see or anticipate the circumstance that will be forever life changing for us.  When the storm hits were are just thrown in with no clue of how or when we will come out of it.  The caterpillar has to shed its skin in order to enter the cocoon and then it completely turns to mush before being restored to its new version.  We’ve all been reduced to mush at some point during our trial, and then our own metamorphosis occurs.  Taking us from broken to beautiful.

I’ve spent a lot of time over the last few years focusing on the transformation and never really considered what it would feel like to be the butterfly…until now.

The struggle in the chrysalis is a real one and we all go through it differently.  Some caterpillars are inside for months, some weeks, some even a year over winter.  Life changing events do not happen overnight and it is important to know that the changes cannot be rushed.  However, it is critical that the focus be on allowing life to take you through the experiences that will ultimately form your wings and allow you to fly.

For the first time, in a long time I can actually say that I am the fully transformed butterfly.  I’ve closed my eyes and I can see myself emerging.  Taking my first breath of fresh clean air was the most magnificent feeling!  It was cool and crisp, it was filled with joy, and a feeling of love in my heart.  The scents that triggered my shock are now insignificant to my future.   I can honestly say “my wings are ready.”

I stumbled upon a song recently and these words really spoke to me, I hope they are encouraging for you on your healing journey.  “ You won’t forget the heavy steps you took to let it go, but close your eyes count to 10 and hold your breath and fly.”

Can you see your future as a butterfly?  Please share in the comments.

Many Blessings,  Kimberly

Courageous Butterfly

Related Topics/Blogs

Do Caterpillars know the’ll become butterflies?

Do Butterflies Remember Being Caterpillars?

Fly

Accepting Transformation….Conclusion


IMG_1511 (2)I thought I knew everything about butterflies, that is, until I spent a few days with my painted ladies.  The day before their release I was able to observe and learn a lot from their behavior.

Did you know:  once in the chrysalis the caterpillar will shake to ward off predators.  (Similar to a human in a time of crisis or despair)

Did you know:  a butterfly can carry 40 times its weight.  (The weight of a difficult situation can equally be as heavy)

Did you know:  a butterfly sleeps with its eyes open.  (Someone going through a difficult time may have difficulty sleeping)

Did you know:  a butterfly will not be active when its body temperature is too cold.  (In times of emotional distress, a person may become less active or withdrawn)

Did you know:  a butterfly will tremble in order to warm itself for becoming active.  (Trying to get yourself motivated when you are feeling down may require a gentle push)

Releasing my new friends depended on the outside temperature, and because of a few colder days I was able to spend more time with them than I had originally planned.  Having that time to watch them closely and study what was happening was a treat for me!  I will admit though, panic did set in a couple of times when activity level had decreased.  I had no idea they literally could not move if their body temperature went below a certain point.

When in a grumpy mood or feeling down, our happy endorphin’s are reduced, thus altering our activity.  I remember many days and nights being confined to my bed feeling like I could not move. 

Before I knew it the day had come and it was time to release and let them go.  I placed them in a sunny spot in the house for a few hours so they would have ample time to warm up and get enough food to make the journey.

The park was beautiful and full of people enjoying the lovely day.  I walked to a quiet space and sat with them on a park bench for a few minutes.  I needed to get up the courage to unzip and let them free.  So many thoughts were going through my mind.  How would I know if they would survive the night?  Would they separate or find each other once out in the world?  Would they be able to find food? Were they strong enough to fly?

Ironically, 7 years ago those same questions were going through my mind on a different level.  Would I have the courage to unzip and change my environment?  There were times I wondered if I would survive the moments.  Would I have new relationships? Would I be able to sustain myself? Was I strong enough to fly?

I didn’t focus on these thoughts for too long, I took in a deep breath and opened the top of the habitat.  The larger butterfly was the first one out  and flew off before I could even get a photo.  The second one though had a little struggle.  It was the smaller of the two and the one which hatched at the bottom of the aviary.  I helped her out on my finger where she sat for several minutes.  I looked around to make sure we were alone, no one needed to see me have a heart to heart with a butterfly!  IMG_1541 (2)

I let her know that she was beautiful and strong, and her life was just beginning.  I thanked her for the time she spent with me, though brief, it meant the world to me.   After our chat I walked her over to a plant leaf and set her upon it.  Within seconds she had flown off.  I like to think our chat gave her the courage to open her wings and fly. Just as many in my life have given me the words I needed to muster up the courage for some of life’s struggles.

It seems little miss butterfly sure had a lot more to teach me.  It is even more clear to me now how much in common we have during times of transformation.  Change doesn’t have to be negative even if the situation it came from was difficult.  Try to embrace it and enjoy the flight of the butterfly.

Courageous Butterfly 4/19/17

Kimberly