Day 250 - Caterpillars & Butterflies - Part Deux
“I was a fucked up caterpillar and now I am a butterfly with issues.” Paul C.
Said my friend the other night. I laughed so hard. First because it is funny and second because it is so true...
We all were once caterpillars and have all, at times, been completely mad. The level and magnitude of the madness varies from person to person but we have all at one time or another really screwed up our lives. And if you haven’t yet done so, I highly recommend it.
The life I have today is completely and totally built on all the fucked up shit that happened before. If I would have missed one of those painful, life altering moments, I would literally be someone else right now and likely not have the amazing life I have today.
But let’s not, for a minute, think that I am a butterfly with no issues. I have issues galore!
Much like what we do with all the brilliant ideas we have about ourselves and our lives that lead us to places where we are given the foundation of seeing that we got it really, really wrong...everyone is a product of their own best (and worst) thinking. Thinking it really does make it so. Regardless of my exterior circumstances, I can still decide that I have an amazing life despite feeling up and down and sideways a good portion of the time.
What am I trying to say here?
I am not even sure...I guess I want to own all the shit that happened to get me right here to this moment where I have everything I need. I do not have all that I want and that will always and forever be the case. But I have had a taste of what being satisfied feels like.
In caterpillar form, I would be at the place where I feel full enough to stop eating. I imagine that they reach a saturation point where they can just stop and be content. Of course we know that this time is the beginning of a great and transformational change. But the caterpillar just knows it is full and done eating. I am kind of there. I feel satiated and content in what I have accomplished so far. And I can feel change coming...not hard and fast but slowly over time. And much like the caterpillar, I really do not have any choice in the matter.
In butterfly form, I have a host of issues from my transformation and all the things that happened before I metamorphosized into me. They are my issues and because I have done and continue to do the hard personal growth work, I see them. I see where they have warped me. I see where they have left some pretty awful scars. I see where they chain me still. I see that I am always doing my best but sometimes I really need to kick it into higher gear to get around or over or under whatever issue is blocking me.
I can only do this when I am present and paying attention. No one gets out of childhood unscathed. We spend the second half of our lives, getting over the first. All of us, whether we like it or not. Whether we admit it or not. Whether we agree or not. What happens to us as caterpillars, isn’t magically gone when we make the change. We take the whole of our experience with us and it is the touchstone of forward growth and movement.
Have you ever seen a butterfly with luggage? Nope! They would never even get off the ground if they had to carry all their crap around with them. They have to leave it behind if they are ever to take flight. And so do we. The issues will always be with us, but it is in our acknowledgement of them and their rightful place in our lives that liberates us from having to try to fly while holding the proverbial bag.
I have no idea where I am going with this. I guess what I am trying to say is that we all have issues in this life. No one is spared. Some of us have had crippling experiences that are going to cut short or prevent us from thriving in our butterfly form. Others of us are going to do ok as caterpillars but really get it all wrong as butterflies. I think it all comes down to being comfortable with the simple fact of our existence: we get it wrong, we get it right but we always keep going and trying to learn from all that has happened, from all we have done.
Somehow, if you do the work, you can be ok with all the fucked up shit that happened to you in caterpillar form. And you can be ok with being a butterfly with issues. Life can still have depth and meaning and love and friendship and light. It can all just be ok, even the very fucked up parts that you wished didn’t happen...to anyone, ever.
So I will claim my place in the sun with all my issues floating gently behind me as I flutter here and there. I can see the baggage I am decidedly leaving behind and taking flight. I will remember that I am free. I have done the work to allow myself to be unchained to all that has happened and all that warped me. I have come to the most special and awesome place one can be at in life: I love me and you in spite of all that has happened, of all that we lack and all that we are. When you take flight in a new life, you can choose to soar and love the view or you can constantly and perpetually be afraid of the fall. Doing the messy, hard and emotionally gut wrenching inner work the runway for taking flight.
Take your turn. Do the work. Be true Blue. Own your shit. Soar anyway. If you get lost, ask the butterflies, they know how to fly, issues be damned.