“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
Last 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