Whenever I move through a period of transition I become slightly obsessed with the butterfly metamorphosis.
I look at pictures of butterflies. (Especially the ones that show a butterfly emerging from the cocoon).
I talk about butterflies (as in this blog).
I read about the caterpillar-to- butterfly metamorphosis. All. The. Time.
I especially like to focus on that point directly in the middle of the caterpillar’s transformation. It is the place where the being is neither caterpillar nor butterfly. That space is filled with darkness and chaos.
Nothing is organized. Nothing has form. Aghhhhh my control freak soul can barely handle it.
I go in search of details of the metamorphosis when I’m in transition. I think I’m searching for the answers on how the caterpillar can bear this midpoint.
How does SHE do it – remain suspended in that in between space where nothing is clear?
I tracked down a new detail in the metamorphosis that shed some light on this. As it turns out once the caterpillar enters the cocoon it starts to digest itself. It turns itself into caterpillar soup. (That’s the part I knew.) But here is the cool part….
Once it is fully dissolved it continues to disintegrate every cell associated with its old self – its caterpillar self. It is not until every single caterpillar cell is gone that the butterfly parts begin to reassemble themselves as wings, antennae etc.
The caterpillar is never NOT doing something. The big work in that period of transition is to release the parts that will have no purpose to its future. (Because imagine what it would be like for a butterfly to try to fly around on a caterpillar’s body. Really the aerodynamics just wouldn’t work).
This little piece of the puzzle made me feel so much better as I move through this latest transition. Even though I have to WAIT and TRUST that everything I need to make this new version of myself emerge is already encoded within my soul, there is something I can do (and I love having something to do!)
I can work on releasing the parts of me that are not a part of the future vision. The habits and fears, doubts and dysfunction, all need to go before this new version of my life happens.
I can’t say “ok when my life looks like _______________ I’ll stop being afraid.” That’s like the caterpillar saying when “my wings pop out I’ll give up these caterpillar legs.”
The caterpillar is a total badass and says “Butterfly is my destiny! Legs be gone!”
Oh, the very thought of that courage makes me weep!
So here is what I want you to take away from my slight obsession with the the butterfly – What are you hanging on to that is keeping your butterfly parts from re-assembling? If the caterpillar can literally digest its own legs to make room for its wings, what can you release so the new you can take flight?