I chose this photograph to represent the blog because of it’s imperfection as well as it’s beauty. As you will learn from my stories, the caterpillar’s struggle is real just as real as our own and scars are in inevitable. If you look closely at the tip of the butterflies right wing in this photo, you will notice a piece of it missing. Of course it’s hard to say when and how this happened, but that really doesn’t matter anyway. What matters is that the butterfly is still vibrant and able to fly. More importantly, that imperfection which we see is a reflection of a triumph through pain whether it occurred before, during or after total transformation.
You can call this the Calm After the Storm; Broken is Beautiful; From Ashes to Light; and so many other things…I see wonder! Amazement! Transformation! Inspiration! and God’s Beauty.
The grief of loss may have you broken, but those virtues are still inside. All it takes is a little elbow grease, hugs from friends, a few positive words of encouragement and you will emerge just as beautiful as you can be!
I hope you find healing in your own metamorphosis and enjoy being a member of the Out of The Chrysalis community. ~Kimberly
In nature we know that the calm before the storm is when the trees become still, the birds are quiet and the colors in the sky become ominous. I have to say that the animals are very lucky that they know how to see that calm and can then prepare for the storm. The bad news for us humans is that we don’t notice that calm until we are in the midst of our storm.
Not to long ago I wrote a post about how important it is to try to see the beauty that is hidden within your storm and the fact that once you make it through you will be better for it; you will grow stronger through that trial. So how can we sense that we are in a calm before the storm? Some people may say “my life is going too well something bad is going to happen”. Or the famous “it’s too good to be true, so something bad must come of it”. The truth is we don’t see that we were in the calm until the storm happens. Just tonight I had a close friend say “I hope this storm passes quick I have been pretty stress free for a few weeks”. We don’t have a doppler system for the storms of life so how do we embrace our calm if we are seeing it only when the storm hits?
I’m sure you can think back to a really good day or a time when you thought to yourself “wow things are going really well for me”. We need to pay attention to those moments and take inventory on how we are feeling. Pay attention to your outlook on life, energy level and overall happiness. Then, be in tune to the impact those feelings are having on you in that moment. Maybe they are causing you to be successful in a project you are working on or maybe they just helped you brighten someone’s day. No matter how large or small the success is make sure you note it! Place these feelings and moments of happiness and success in your emergency storm bag because they will become your tools for survival.
You’ve taken inventory on your best day you have those feelings and moments in your mind and all of a sudden your sky opens and your storm hits. Stress is being piled on you from every angle. Be it work, a relationship, kids or anything that can cause you stress, it’s all hitting you at once. What do you do? You reach out for your tools. You remember how you felt when things were going well in your life and you focus on those feelings and ask yourself “what do I need to do in order to feel like that again?” If you take just a moment to look back you will quickly realize you would much rather have the feelings of happiness and success rather than the feelings the stress is causing you to have. Now I know you can’t just close your eyes and make your problems disappear. It would be awesome but it’s not going to happen. You will still have to deal with whatever the issue is but use your tools while you are dealing with it. Remind yourself that you are strong enough to find a solution to your problem and release the stress. Encourage yourself to work through whatever it is and get yourself back to the feelings you had when you were in your calm. We can’t know how long our storm will last but we can use our tools to help bring us out and back to our calm.
The last couple of years have been a pretty big storm but I did have some good days thrown in there. I will now look back on those days and pull the tools out of my emergency bag whenever a storm hits.
Would anyone like to offer any suggestions to my blog reader’s on how you were successful in working through a stressful time, we could all use helpful tips! (respond in the comments)
Spring is here and that means scary storms are on the way. I am not a fan of thunderstorms, in fact they make me very afraid and nervous. Well this morning as I drove to work there were thunderous clouds all around me complete with a very large bolt of lighting in the direction of where I was heading. I clenched the steering wheel at first but then when I looked up the clouds were actually beautiful, the sky was a different color in every direction. Looking out at the scary but beautiful sky I thought, ” is it possible for us to see the beauty hidden within our own storms”? When we are going through something difficult in our lives we usually don’t take the time to stop and see the good that is coming from that struggle or the good that will eventually develop because of the struggle itself.
Take the butterfly for instance, (Yes I know obsessed). The caterpillar has no idea the beauty that is going to come from her struggle. She enter’s the cocoon as a furry little caterpillar, goes through her struggle to transform, and emerges a BEAUTIFUL butterfly. Try to remember the caterpillar when your facing your difficult struggle. It can be anything from a job loss, divorce, or death of a loved one. If you stay strong and not let it defeat you, you too can get to the point where you see the beauty that emerges because of it.
During my divorce when I’d get to a very low point people would say “look at the positive side”, well at the time I could not see it. I struggled to find the positive in the fact that my marriage was ending, I was moving out of my family’s home, and beginning a journey of living apart from my kids. I assumed I’d be stuck in those moment’s from now on. I thought I would spend a while dwelling on the negative outcomes that my divorced produced, never imagining that those outcomes would become positive and that I would be able to find beauty within them.
At this point I am able to be comfortable in saying that yes I went through a difficult event, and it was a horrible thing to go through but I can’t change it, I can only change how I am affected by it. The changes I had to make during the past year have given me the chance to really get to know myself just as “me”. I was afraid about all of the extra time I was going to have to myself but the beauty in that is I’ve had time to reflect on where I was, where I am now and where I am heading. I’ve learned a lot about myself that never would have surfaced had I not gone through what I went through. I will admit I still have days where I struggle so I take one day at a time and do my best to look for the positive that will come from that bad day.
Now that I can see the beauty that is beginning to emerge from my storm, I know that anything bad I may have to go through will only be a struggle for a little while as long as I allow myself to move towards finding the beauty and not stay and dwell on the black clouds. The next time you see a storm take a moment to really look and see if you are able to find the beauty that is hidden within it, if you can, then you will also be able to find the beauty that will come out of your life storm just like I am now.