What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly. ― Richard Bach
Transformation is a radical change or as I like to say, an opportunity to level up. True transformation is never easy and requires a complete melt down and total rebuild. It can be downright terrifying. That’s why we try to avoid it like the plague. Transformation is really messy business, just ask the caterpillar.
Catapulted Into My Cocoon
What happens to the little caterpillar sounds like science fiction, except it’s not. The caterpillar eats and eats and eats until it’s time to make the little silk cocoon. Once safely inside the unimageable happens. The caterpillar releases digestive enzymes that literally eats itself from the inside out. Their little body melts into a liquid goo of cells and the caterpillar completely disappears.
Brain surgery catapulted me into my little cocoon and radiation kept me there as I melted into goo. Cancer treatments are messy business. Unlike the caterpillar I didn’t know how to build a cocoon and I fought like hell not to melt into goo. But it happened anyway. I didn’t have a choice and neither does the caterpillar. Sometimes, there is a nature to things that don’t make sense to me. That’s what I call God’s business and just let it be.
Rebuilding Takes Time
What happens next is nothing short of a transformation miracle. The liquid goo cells start talking to each other and they re-organize to build a butterfly. Amazing! My rebuilding was chaos in action but a miracle all the same.
Patience has never been my strong suit and that can hinder the rebuilding process. My cells were moving slow and it didn’t matter that they had a lot to do. So, it’s no surprise that I would pop out of my cocoon and fly away like a drunken fairy. Only to return in less than 5 minutes, pissed, frustrated, angry and exhausted.
Finally, I came to understand it takes time for those goo cells to re-organize. My body knew how to rebuild and heal. As usual, I just got in my own way. I had to learn to give myself the time and space needed for my cells to re-organize, to build butterfly Kimba.
The Process of Emergence
If you help a butterfly out of its cocoon, more than likely it will die. The struggle is what makes it strong. And even when it’s free from the cocoon it can’t fly. The wings are wet, crumpled and useless. The butterfly must hang upside down to pump fluid into its body and wings. It can take several hours for the wings to dry and harden. Emergence is a struggle, but with each step the butterfly becomes stronger.
My emergence was not graceful but I finally got the job done. I struggled with walking, seeing, talking and weakness. Sometimes the struggle would overwhelm me and I’d melt into goo all over again. It wasn’t until I surrendered to the struggle that I was able to hang upside down on my cocoon and see my new beautiful wings.
The Struggle Makes Us Strong
Not too long ago I was in a store. A staff member watched me try and pick up a bag of apples. She told me that she wasn’t being mean but I was weak. She obviously couldn’t see my magic butterfly wings. And her tone and body language told me she was being mean. I didn’t respond.
She didn’t know the whole story but then again bullies don’t often look for truth. I had a mother of a migraine and needed a cane for balance. Sometimes I try and push through as I did on this day. And the opposite is true. My mind, body and spirit is incredibly strong. I was able to complete my shopping. A lesser person with that migraine would have crumpled and crawled out of that store. The struggle makes you stronger.
Ready to Fly
After emerging from the cocoon, the butterfly is free to fly way. Did you know those little winged creatures are so strong they can fly up to 100 miles a day? That’s incredible. After I emerged from my cocoon, I couldn’t fly 100 miles a day but I was flying in other ways. My body was stronger than ever before because I finally got the message to treat myself with kindness. I ate whole organic food and exercised every day. The mental razor blades I played with disappeared and joy, love and gratitude became my mantra. I also found way back to Spirit. You might call it God, the Universe, The Being of Light or Allah. It doesn’t matter to me. I just know I need to feel connected to it every single day of my life.
Return to the Cocoon
After mating, the female lays her tiny eggs on some tasty leaves and the caterpillar’s journey begins all over again. I love returning to my cocoon. It is a safe place where I can rest, repair and rebuild. I am grateful for the melting goo. It means that a better expression of myself is being made.
Once she lays her eggs, the butterfly dies. She begins a deeper transformation. I don’t know exactly what happens in death but I have a hunch. The butterfly gets a major power up with bigger, brighter and more beautiful wings. Who knows? Maybe they become our angels.