LIKE BUTTERFLIES... WE ARE
Butterflies have always been a favourite of mine. I don’t know why but for me they are a connection to my spirit and the universe. I’ve always felt like they bring me messages, probably the thoughts they trigger when I see them gives me direction.
I like using nature as an analogy for life, it helps me understand why things happen sometimes and eases that feeling of not knowing how things will go. We can learn so much from what nature shows us.. we reflect animal behaviour in so many ways it's quite intriguing to me.
Recently I have been looking back on my path so far in life and can see the similarities with a butterfly. We start out much like caterpillars, not seeing ourselves as all that beautiful and amazing, we walk through life eating away, gathering all the experiences, knowledge and skills we acquire through our schooling, our work experiences, our relationships and obstacles that come in our path.
We keep getting bigger and fatter, with more and more knowledge and skills searching continuously for something until one day we have had enough, we need to stop. This can happen when something big happens to make us stop - an event, a loss of job, an illness or when we get to a milestone age like it was for me, when I turned 40. I hurt my shoulders and it incapacitated me for a while, it forced me to stop and face a harsh reality - that of being right back to the post accident days when I needed help getting in and out of bed and on and off a toilet. It was a shock to have to realise this could be the way life was going to be now. I had been so independent, fought for it so much in the previous 22 years since my crash.
When this happened I hibernated for a while, at first literally to repair physically but then also figuratively. I spent the next few years going through the darkness, a process of reflecting on all the baggage I had accumulated - the guilt, the hurt, the pain, the loss and the happy times too. I started shedding the layers one by one as I started seeing myself differently and appreciating what I did have in my life. A gratitude overtook me that changed everything. It detached me from my possessions and made me appreciate the people and the moments in my life more.
I started working with high school students and talking about road safety and how to deal with things when they happen. I would be driving along and tears would well up as my memory would trigger moments that I had buried and brushed under the carpet. I was now facing those moments, bringing them up and letting them go. Acknowledging and accepting they are a part of me and what has made me. Not to be ashamed of them or to let them be the only part of me.
I started seeing the real me without those layers, I became lighter emotionally and more confident in my dealings. Much like a butterfly I started coming out of my cocoon, pushing through and seeing the light. Shining with all my unique colours, now I feel like a butterfly, I am flying. Doing the things that I love, using my experiences to encourage and improve other people’s lives. I am grateful for who I am and why I am here. I have found my purpose. I have transformed my life.
I am still learning and figuring it out, there are still layers that need shedding, we never really arrive and finish. We go through the butterfly process many times in life as we touch on a different area of life - career, love, health, wealth etc. It is a whole other life experience when we operate from the point of being a butterfly instead of a caterpillar.
Have you looked back to connect the dots and see where you’re at? Take the time you need to stop and reflect, it is so important. When you get to the point of total acceptance and start being the butterfly that you are - you are beautiful, light, you bring happiness and joy to the world and you live with purpose. That’s freedom!