“How do you become a butterfly? You must want to fly so much that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar.” ~ Trina Paulus
Author and cancer survivor Mark Nepo says the things we hold dear in our hearts like a relationship, an identity, a dream or an ambition acts like a cocoon. When the butterfly emerges, the cocoon has served its purpose. It doesn’t mean it’s false, it means it served its purpose just as everything in life serves as a purpose. Therefore our relationships, identities, dreams and ambitions are often cocoons that lead us to the next. The problem is when we are so attached to these relationships, identities, dreams and ambitions, we come in conflict when it breaks or falls away that we don’t see what it’s opened us up to.
Have you ever been in a relationship or a situation that has served its purpose and you know in your heart it’s time to surrender and let go? It hurts to even think about it breaking away or never returning. We’ve all been there. Just the angst of making that decision to leave can be the biggest struggle of our lives just as the caterpillar struggles in becoming a butterfly inside the cocoon. This inner process takes time and all the work that is being done is from within, it just needs the time and space to do this on its own. Similarly, we need to work from within to find our inner strength and make changes in our own lives. After having gone through this struggle, not only does it make you stronger, it transforms you. Like the butterfly, when you finally emerge from the cocoon and come out on the other side after having made that decision, you are so powerful and beautiful. The cocoon which represents a relationship or situation has now served its purpose. It is time to surrender and let go. This process cannot be rushed, nor can anyone do this inner work for you. For an observer, as difficult as it may be to stand back watching and waiting for this final moment to happen, you must be patient and let nature take its course. Even the sun and rain support the process which can represent our own support systems like friends and family, we are all connected.
Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our lives to emerge us into the next great opportunity. They strengthen us, connect us and can even make us fly. I have learned freedom from struggling and I am very grateful for this teacher. ~ J.J.