Out of the Chrysalis

Celebrating and embracing the transformation within


Memories Triggered

chrysalisSpring is upon us and that means caterpillars everywhere are on the verge of becoming a newer version of themselves. With much time spent in the chrysalis, letting go of the past and preparing for a great adventure.  Over the past 7 years, I have been doing the same thing and life has led me to many wonderful adventures of late.  Recently however, I had a “moment” that I would like to share with you! It came suddenly and completely took me by surprise!

In January of 2013, I wrote a post on PTSD and Divorce. Over the past few years, I have not suffered any of those mentioned PTSD experiences, and have felt pretty well renewed.  I have some wounds that will always be present in my mind, but for the most part, I am a new and improved person who just happened to have survived a divorce.  Towards the end of that post, I mentioned that as part of my healing journey, I was at war with my memories.  Through the restorative process, I have surrendered my memories and processed much of what I needed too, or so I thought. Apparently, my mind had other plans and decided to wage war once again.

The trigger was a song that happened to come on while I was watching television. The song immediately infuriated me.  I began yelling out and having an argument with the person singing.  I wanted to know what gave the artist the right to create such a song and sing it as if it were the best thing ever written.  I found myself having a very one-sided conversation and becoming angrier at every word.

The next day I was speaking to a friend about my “moment”. All of a sudden, I heard words coming out of my mouth that were not there the night before.  I was actually explaining why that song was such a trigger.  I quickly realized that what was happening in the lyrics was something that I wished I had done during my period of doubts.  That piece was a rendition of my life but with scenes that never played out due to my fears and uncertainty.  Situations that I did not allow myself to be a part of because I did not want to believe they were true.  These impetuous feelings were hurtful to me, but this time I was the one causing the pain.

I know we cannot go back and say “what if”, but I really wanted to ask myself that question. The more I thought about it; my answer was that the outcome would probably not have been any different.  In fact, it may have been worse.  I trusted in my perception during those times, and I chose a way to react that was secure for me.

This unexpected moment was a very valuable lesson. It has showed me that deep down this was an unresolved issue, having nothing to do with my ex, it was all me!  Will there be more? I have no clue, but at least now, I know how to identify it and process it.  I do know that when it happens again, I will let the music play, soak in the lyrics and glide with the rhythm.

butterfly musicWhat I think is important to pass along here, is do not shut yourself out! These “moments” will appear without warning and can be frightening to face head on.  I faced mine by accident the following day and I am grateful for the experience and now the knowledge.  When you get to this point in your journey, remember this as an important step in the healing process.  Trust in God, and listen to what you have to say.  Do not be afraid to be angry with yourself but also remember to be just as forgiving!

Do you have an experience of a “moment” you would like to share? Please comment.

Blessings, Kimberly / Courageous Butterfly

Related Topics/Posts

Does PTSD after divorce exist? You better believe it!

Letting Go of Regret




Looking Ahead With Hope

Today summer ends and a new season begins to take shape, some of us are ready, some are not.  Looking up at the darker fall clouds I am reminded of how sometimes changing seasons in our lives can be just as cold and dark as changing weather.

There was a comment left on yesterday’s post Imagine Your Change that spurred the energy for this post.  It spoke about finding the joy in moving on and how sometimes that can be extremely difficult.  There were several times in the last four years that I tried to or thought I had actually moved on from what had happened to me and that I was going to be able to put it behind me and be happy.  I’m sure I even had a few posts that reflected those feelings at the time, but the reality is I may never actually totally put it behind me.   My marriage was half of my life, and it included many pivotal and defining moments that has helped to make me who I am.  I also know that in order to put some of that pain aside and heal from it there has to be forgiveness in your heart, not just on your lips.

Finding peace in your grief can be done but will actually be something that you have to practice, pray on, and really want.  I have found that all the negative thoughts and moments of heavy sadness and grief were not very productive, but the nights where I started to look ahead and focus on positive changes in my life brought some comfort.  So how do we forgive?  That’s a question only you can answer.  It will depend on how open your mind is and how ready you are to move forward and most important is to remember that forgiving doesn’t mean we forget, it means we simply acknowledge where we are in our life now and accept the challenge of this next life transition.  Not every transition in our lives will be what we want, all we can do is deal with it the best way we know how.hope

So find something that gives you joy, for me it’s Butterflies of course and hold it close to your heart.  When you find you are having a bad day or just need something to get you through a difficult moment cling to it, focus on it and let that person, object, scent, place, or insect guide you on your path for that day and your new tomorrow.

Can you welcome your season change and look ahead with hope?  Please comment.


Courageous Butterfly


Related links/blogs

Hope In Front Of Me


I”m About To Rebuild You

Rest Stop….autumn is finally here


The Gloves Are Off….Healing In The Moment

glvoesOk, here goes nothing!  Those were my thoughts this afternoon as she headed to my way.  At first I thought I was dreaming.
Sitting in my car in the driveway of what was once my marital home to pick up the kids and I saw her through the window.  I froze at first not sure how to handle this.  The last time we said one word to each other it was….well, actually it was very civilized.  But that’s a story for my next book.  Anyway, there I was not knowing what I should do and the little voice inside me said, “Kimberly, open the window and keep your hands safely on the wheel, make sure your foot is off the gas and the car is in park”.  Any unintentional accident needed to be avoided.

She had a reasonable question concerning one of my kids .  I knew I had to answer, I took in a breath and answered as cool and calmly as I could making sure I had a nice friendly smile on my face.   I was having an exceptionally good hair day, was dressed for a family party so I think I was looking pretty darn good.  With a small but noticeable flip of my freshly styled summer blonde hair I gave her the answer she was looking for.  We continued to chat as if we were the best of friends, (not really but a stranger would not have known any different) and I’m sure her stomach was churning just as much as mine was.

While departing the driveway I had a feeling of liberation.  It was like in that short maybe three-minute conversation something in me changed.  I had survived that meeting and very glad that I had been seated safely in my car, because if I had been standing and actually felt my quivering legs it would have been a totally different experience.

What I have learned from today is that maybe I am actually healing as far as my feelings for her are concerned.  Three years ago I would not have been able to look her in the eyes and carry on a polite conversation.  Today I over came that!  I faced my fear took off the gloves that were holding on to the uncertainty, pain, and bitterness and in that moment I set them aside.  Will they always be off?  Well only time will tell I suppose.growth

I drove off with all my kids in tow with a feeling of happiness that has been a long time coming.  I felt as if I had just climbed the highest mountain, stuck my flag in the ground, held my arms up to the sky and smiled in the sunlight.

What I want to share with you through all of this is that healing can occur when you LEAST expect it.  And my friends, for me that experience was amazing!  Keep your eyes and ears open for your moment, don’t worry about when it will happen or if it will happen, like I said this one came out of nowhere for me.  Just try not to run from it.  Suppress the initial flight reaction. (I wont’ lie it was there for me but I’m no race car driver, so burning rubber out of the driveway would have been way too obvious.)  Take control of the moment when you are facing it and enjoy its reward!

Has anyone else experienced a liberating healing moment?  Please share.


Courageous Butterfly





Decide to Forgive

This is a big one people!  This word can be scary for most of us and it is partly because we really don’t completely understand it’s meaning.  I was reminded of that this week when I heard my ex husband’s voice on the phone for the first time in months.

I’ve been going through this process with the understanding that forgiveness is just one of the steps you take when you are healing.  Other’s say just forgive and forget.  Well my friends that’s complete bull! What happened is a part of my life, it is something I will never forget because I lived it.  Outside of early onset dementia, it is something that will be with me forever.

Silliness aside, I also have been going through this process thinking forgiveness is a choice, and was I willing to make it? After attending a very rewarding weekend at church just two months after my divorce, I was sure I could make that choice.  I listened to several speeches on the topic, and in my heart it made me happy to say  “I Forgive you.”  I even went as far as writing it out, never mailing it of course, but it allowed me to go through the motions and feel like I had completed the forgiveness step.

One year later I received a letter that I had written to myself during that weekend.  I looked at the envelope for at least an hour, trying to recall what I had written.  I poured a glass of wine, made myself comfortable and then opened it.  I hadn’t forgiven my ex that weekend, I had forgiven myself.

In that moment I decided  to forgive myself for what I went through. There were many signs thrown in my face through the years and I didn’t see them; forgiven.  I was faced with choices  and had I chosen differently maybe the truth would have been seen; forgiven.  The big one, the one that produced many tears, allowing myself to deny my intuition; forgiven.

So what is the difference between choosing and deciding?  Think about a situation when you chose to do something, maybe you never did it.  Now think about a situation you decided to do something, usually that produces the actual act of doing it.  It’s kind of crazy how two words that are so similar can bring very different outcomes.

Which brings me back to the phone call this week.  I”m still struggling with seeing or talking to my ex and I haven’t been able to figure out why.  It’s been a year and a half I should not get all teary when in his company.  I never decided to forgive him, so those feelings are festering inside me.

When I heard him on the phone there was a voice in my head saying “closure”.  We never had closure.  That day was all business and signing papers.  After 20 years and three kids we didn’t get our goodbye.  There was so much I wanted to say during that conversation but I stuck to the reason for the call.  Inside my head I was saying everything I wanted to tell him.  And I thought just because I need closure does not mean he does.  I was not about to put myself into a conversation that would make me feel worse.  I listened to his words and for myself I was getting closure.  I found myself not letting the conversation end because my head and I were still getting things out!  That was kind of funny in a way, trying to drag out a conversation when I was so fearful of hearing his voice in the first place.

It got to a point when I just couldn’t stretch it any more and it was time to say goodbye.  I would normally end a phone call with just the word bye, but in this instance I said “good-bye”.  I set the phone down, took a few moments, some deep breaths and out of my mouth came “I Forgive Him”.

I don’t condone what happened with our marriage, I’m not accepting it as something that was ok.  I made the decision to let it go.  It’s in my past and I have a future to plan for.  I cannot live in fear of seeing him or hearing his voice because he will be in my life for a very long time.  

As I sit here today and write all of this out I can honestly say that my heart feels a little lighter.  I didn’t know it but I was still holding onto some painful feelings.  My heart is more peaceful now.  No one can force you into forgiveness.  It is something that you have to decide to do and when you are ready.  I thought I had a long time ago.  It took one phone call to make me realize I wasn’t done yet.

I’d love to hear comments on this subject. It is by far the most difficult part of healing.  When did you realize that you could forgive? or when did you realize you were forgiven?



Courageous Butterfly