Out of the Chrysalis

Celebrating and embracing the transformation within


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Flipping Time


IMG_0753 (2)I received  a gift this week, it was small but meaningful. Given to me by someone who knows nothing about me only the fact that I have an obsessive collection.   It could be annoying to others which makes me smile just a little.   It holds purpose and keeps me on track.  I felt special to have been the person to whom it was offered.  Have you guessed it yet?

I will end your suspense, it was a clock.  But not just an ordinary clock it is in the shape of a butterfly.  Made of plastic, the clock mechanism came out which left the butterfly totally empty.  An empty butterfly is not a pretty sight in my eyes.  In fact when I first realized the clock came out of the shell I thought I had broken it, but the clock kept ticking so I knew it was still working.  I was reminded of myself,  I was broken, but kept ticking long enough to keep myself working to prepare for my flip.

So here I am, having survived several what would be anniversaries, birthdays, graduations, and at the same time I have invited new friends, and relationships. I have met some very wonderful people who needed me just as much as I needed them.  I have held the hands of some who needed me and others have held mine.

Some can flip a house and others can flip a soul.  Both are flipping “time”.  I’ve been there and have witnessed lives being changed.  I have seen a crossover between faithless and the faithful when a man visits his mom for the first time at her grave in over ten years.  I have felt the love of a son to his parents when being introduced at their grave sight.

Both of those instances stopped time for me.  I found purpose and meaning  where my IMG_0754 (1)life was at that moment. I had flipped time and I was making a difference.  Everything happens for a reason, I will always believe that.

So let’s flip some time my way, I am about to embark on another journey.  Making a move back to the area where I grew up.  It will take some adjusting but I am confident that I will find myself pretty close to where I left off.

A young, vibrant woman holding on for love, true to herself, ready for adventure, and for the “one” to give her the ultimate flip!

Courageous Butterfly

6/1/16

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Fly with Grace, Peace and Hope


flygirlI was all set to call it a night, I leaned over to turn off the light and my body paused.  I looked at the lamp and was reminded that I still carry pieces of my past with me.  As I embark on yet another move, I am determined to let go of these items that have lingered in places where they really didn’t need to be.

Take for instance the lamp…which I made from a wine bottle…that was given to me by my ex.  I have moved three times since my divorce and apparently this lamp has made the trip.  Why is it still at my bedside?

I sat down at my vanity earlier today to begin to clean out the drawers and found an old wallet.  I pulled out old business cards and in the middle I found a photo probably 15 years old or more of the two of us on a New Year’s Eve…why is this photo still in this wallet?

I shopped at the grocery store today and gave the cashier my phone number for my rewards card…she repeated the name and it is still registered under my married name, why?

I received mail this week that was addressed to Mr. and Mrs…. why?  The company who sent it clearly knows that I am divorced.

I am in a place in my life where I am making positive changes, and for the first time I feel like they are changes that God wants me to make.  Things are moving smoothly and in a positive direction.  So then why am I getting all of these little reminders of my marriage?

It’s been five years and yet every time I make a literal move I find more mementos of our life together. I thought for sure I had done a formal cleanse but items still seem to surface.  This move has to be it…I no longer want to find these items that carry so much weight.  I like to think that I am at peace with my circumstance.   Truthfully I am, until that moment that I’m not.

fly freeYou can’t forget life and you can’t undo what’s been done.  What you can do is learn, grow and survive.  I know in the coming weeks as I continue to pack I will most likely stumble across more things that I thought I had let go of.  I will put on my wings and FINALLY set the items free.  Lightening the load will make it much easier for me to move both physically and emotionally.

Soon, I will return to the area where I grew up,  without the restraints of where I have been. Fueled with the power given to me by my children, friendships, experiences, and all of my scars, I will be at peace.  I will be ready for yet another transformation to become the best butterfly I can be! Fly with grace, confidence and hope.

Have you flown? Have you let it all go? Are you at peace?   Please share in the comments.

Kimberly

Courageous Butterfly

5/12/16

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Tell Your Hear To Beat Again, Danny Goke

 

 

 

 

 


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The Divorce Life Event


infomercial

This was taken 6 years ago…pre-divorce I had just completed a transformation where I was forced to push myself in ways I never thought I could accomplish…but I did it!  And I will continue to grow transformed and renewed in my new life!

If you are a Facebook fan then you are aware of the section where you can choose to post your “life event”.  Most times we see those that are shared for engagements, weddings, and milestone birthdays.  I don’t recall seeing one for divorce, that may fall into the “it’s complicated” category of your status.  Although there is one that says create your own.  I ask you…have you ever seen anyone post their divorce as a life event?

The bigger question is, in today’s society with nearly 45% of marriages failing why isn’t divorce on that list?  Being one of the most difficult life events, to survive I feel it should be recognized.  One of the first three questions on every healthcare form, or job application asks for your marital status and divorce is an option on those forms.

My discussion today in regards to divorce being recognized as a  life event stems directly from this blog.  I took some time to think about why I started this site, what my initial purpose was and is it smart for me to keep it going?  I’ve often wondered if looking back on my past was hindering my healing or moving forward.   I started to reflect on the significance of certain events in life that truly change who you are and the path you were on and placed you somewhere you never thought you would be.  Then I thought about where I might be had that particular life event never happen and I couldn’t see that part of my life.  I closed my eyes and really tried to focus on my past, my marriage and tried to imagine what it would be like today…the mental page was blank.

I was upset at first, but then I sat down and started looking over the comments on this site.  I read so many that started out by saying “thank you for writing this”.  My first post on this site was not my hardest but it was the scariest.  Not knowing how it would be received, would it be helpful to other’s as well as aid in my healing?  Today I am proud to say it has been a very positive experience.  Some posts were very hard and took a lot out of me, but those also seem to be the ones that were most received and helpful to those suffering the same experiences.

I’m a big believer of things happen for a reason, some may not happen the way we want, or how we ever imagined, but there is always going to be a reason.

I will never regret sitting here and typing my thoughts, fears, feelings, and sharing my tears, knowing that I may be offering someone out there a virtual hug, a listening ear, or just a calmness in knowing they are not alone.

So why not celebrate the life event that got me where I am today?  I have a great job, family, a roof over my head and many new friends that were strategically placed on my path because of where my life took me.  I found my passion for writing, which I never would have had the confidence to do without going through that life trial.

Mr. Mark Zuckerberg I would like Divorce to be placed on the Life Event section of Face Book please. (end of relationship doesn’t count).

Do you believe, the greatest trials of this life can also be your mercies in disguise?  Please comment.

Kimberly

Courageous Butterfly

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I’m Still Learning, Lessonsfromtheendofamarriage

 

 

 

 

 


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Patience As Your Armour


hope tool boxJust when you think things are getting better, it happens AGAIN!  Of course, we know that is what life is all about.  The ups, the downs, the happy as well as sad.  I had spent an entire year preparing for something that was to have taken place last weekend, but I was struck down with the flu virus.  And not just the 24 hour or even 4 day flu, it was the 7 day tied to the couch illness.  One week from receiving my flu shot of course.  But the flu is not the purpose for this post today, it is learning that when we are fighting a foe, patience isn’t always the easiest.

Often during my divorce there were times when I was being referred to as “a patient woman”.  It wasn’t just from one person, I was hearing this phrase over and over again from various people in my life.  Each of those people serving a different purpose and all having totally different experiences with me than the other.  I would almost laugh out loud every time I heard that title because I never felt it.  Other than just on one occasion, I could not see what they were,  as far as having one shred of patience coming through me.  I felt quite the opposite.

The phrase was even uttered to me as early as the first meeting with my attorney, way before I began my quest to become a butterfly.  Now I can see how it goes hand in hand with the patience our friend the caterpillar has to cling to in order to make its ultimate transformation.  So, this time around I decided to hold my focus on being patient, not just with the virus, but also letting go of the fact that maybe I was not supposed to accomplish the task I had been preparing for, just yet anyway.  If I am patient and content with the way things turned out, I am confident my day will come and if not then I know there are bigger and better things ahead.  I could have pouted this entire week, that would not have produced anything.  I spent my days doing things I usually don’t have time for and because of that I know that I want to make time for them in my life.  Being tolerant this week has given me a chance to grow within myself, as if I were in a cocoon.

patience-quotes-2Many of the outcomes of my divorce were surprises to me and not what I had expected or anticipated, just at this past weekend.  However, the divorce produced new life, new change and a chance to grow and strengthen, as well as this past weekend.  I’m seeing a pattern here.  Both of these instances were successes in my life and should not be seen as anything less.   This time I could see it quicker and more clearly because I knew what to look for.

As far as I am concerned, I was given another chance to hone in on those “skills”, strengthen my Armour so to speak.  I will choose not to focus on what I may have missed out on because the happenstance produced a gift, one that I may not have received had I not spent that year preparing.   Instead I will treasure the chance I had, the way I have grown out of the struggle, and the wisdom to know that my Armour is still in tact.

I look at this as Step 1 on my new journey; taking the time to discover the hidden gifts that I am carrying with me, that were all a result of my challenge.  I look forward to seeing what is next and what other life techniques will be unearthed.

Have you found a new skill or one that you thought was lost since enduring your change?  Please comment.

Kimberly

Courageous Butterfly

10/11/14

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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.

Kimberly

Courageous Butterfly

9/22/14

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Broken Pieces…..


broken puzzle…..or are they merely the beginning of something new?  We have all purchased a puzzle before, it comes in a box all sealed up never before seen.  Sometimes the pieces are safely inside a plastic bag and other times they are just right inside the box.  It’s exciting to begin to put the pieces together and start to see the image on the cover of the box appear before us.  I don’t know about you, but I cannot put any puzzle together without first looking at the image so I know where the pieces go and what it is supposed to look like when I’m finished.  Puzzle pieces are fun, colorful, and exciting; so why is that when we are falling apart it is called “falling to pieces”?

When I hear the word pieces I think of puzzles first, then pie!!! either of which are happy things.  I never understood why the term “falling to pieces” is compared to falling apart.  Pieces are things that are being put together, not to be left alone.  So technically if we “fall to pieces” we are simply setting ourselves up for a new beginning.  We are putting the plan into motion for someone to put our pieces back and make us whole again.

I’d like for a minute to imagine a world where when we are born a puzzle is created in the image of our future.  On our 18th birthday that puzzle shows up gift wrapped on our doorstep, however there is no image attached to the box.  It is up to us to know where to put each piece exactly where it goes.  I suddenly feel frustrated and anxious.  We don’t know where our pieces will fit, in fact most of us spend a lot of time trying to force pieces in where they don’t belong.  I have done that on several occasions before and since my divorce.

We get so excited thinking…This is it, I just know it’s going to fit….then when we try to put the piece in that spot, it’s not quite right.  No matter how much we bend, squeeze, or press that piece if it is not an exact fit, they will not go together.  That’s when we get frustrated, because we thought for sure that piece went there.  Is any of this sounding familiar yet if we put it into life’s scenarios?

There have been countless times since my divorce where I have tried to force pieces in where they didn’t fit, and it doesn’t work.  Life cannot be like a puzzle, because it changes over and over again.  When a puzzle is created it is made to stay the same, the pieces fit because they were cut that way, it was created specifically for one image.  Life, was not.  Life is meant to be a series of different landscapes.  Sometimes our life puzzle will be pretty, other times it may rain and even storm.

There will always be those times when we do not want to put our puzzle together because we are afraid of what it is going to look like and those are the life landscapes that we try to change or hide from, thus altering the pieces.  What we don’t realize is that we should not really try to alter those pieces, but instead put them in their place and experience what ever it is that we are meant to experience at that time in our lives.  God created our puzzle, he knows where our pieces go and he may have thrown in a few confusing one’s to help us to grow.

I have a few pieces that I would like to toss out of my puzzle, but then what would happen to my life image?  We are who we are because of what we have or are going through.  Without those horrible pieces of my life puzzle, I would not be right where I am today, which is where I am supposed to be.  If I had tossed those pieces and not lived those moments of my life,  I have a feeling my puzzle would never begin to take shape.life is a puzzle

So, when we are faced with loss, fear, sadness, and despair how do we continue to put our puzzles together?  We simply live life.  We take on each challenge along with any failure that comes with it and we embrace it.  We grab that puzzle piece hold it high and scream “ONE DAY MY PIECES WILL FIT”.

Try not to fit pieces of your puzzle into your life if they truly do not belong there.  Hold onto those pieces that fit right off the bat and enjoy putting your life puzzle together.

Have you been trying to force pieces to fit in your life? please share…

Kimberly

Courageous Butterfly

Related blogs/links

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Surrender…And Seek The Blessings


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!

http://youtu.be/v7K3K97XEcM

 

“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.

flowers_surrender_124110I’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.  you-are-free-to-fly_thumb

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)

Kimberly

Courageous Butterfly 2/11/13

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