Like most people, I am fascinated with the lovely creatures whose translucent wings lightly flutter as they are carried on a breeze. I watch, mesmerized as they drift to and fro, seemingly without direction. There are times when I feel the same way, and yet, like all beings on the planet, there is a purpose and intention for its existence. Butterflies symbolize transformation from one form to another, growing and changing. Just how thorough this change is, fascinates me. We have seen the caterpillar; all squiggly and perhaps fuzzy as it crawls on leaves or on our hand if we reach out for it to climb aboard. Perhaps we have witnessed a chrysalis hanging from a tree. I did two weeks ago. We have noticed the winged version that has emerged from the temporary nesting structure. What we don’t see is the gestation that takes place. I have seen it described as the caterpillar digesting itself, leaving in its wake, a mushy soup.
Butterflies have a special meaning for me, since when my mother was on hospice, I asked what she thought would happen when she passed, and she told me that she would come back as a butterfly. They have been a constant reminder that love is ever-present.
It has been easy for me to see myself as the finished product, with colorful wings keeping me aloft. I actually have wings in my car, since I am a clown who wears them as part of my costume. What has been more challenging is accepting that for right now, I am in that stage where I am immersed in emotion soup. Back in April, I attended a weekend retreat called The Woman Within that opened the gates for feelings to flow through. Just scratching the surface. In the past month or so, more melting of the walls I had erected around my heart, has been occurring and with it, a torrent of tears. As a therapist who guides others through their losses and the pain that sometimes comes with being human, I distanced myself from my own emotions so that I could serve them.
Lately, I have been recognizing all of the losses that turned me to mush on the inside that I have tried desperately to cover over with vividly hued costumes, blissful statements, glorious descriptions of my amazing, magical life so that people wouldn’t be able to see the tears and fears behind the façade. Both exist within me; I would just prefer to acknowledge the first. The calling is for me to see the beauty in both the joys and challenges, the caterpillar soup, as well as the magnificent creature that emerges.