When I was in Sedona a few years ago I was sick for 8 hours straight. Couldn’t lift my head enough to walk or drive. I ended up watching the history channel all day. I came across this fascinating documentary on Butterflies! It showed how the caterpillar attaches itself to the twig with all its legs and holds still and then drops to only the back 2 legs and hangs there while its protective coat is grown.
I thought. Wow! what discipline! The butterfly KNOWS it must do that–even though it may be perfectly happy being a caterpillar, just inching along, finding treasures and doing life in a caterpillar world. But suddenly there just comes a time when it just KNOWS it must go find a twig!
I was so impressed with that beautiful creature emerging from the sheet that I took a picture of the TV.
I know we are not animals, but what if we were so in tune to ourselves and our destiny and what the universe is paving the way for us to have that we KNEW instinctively when to go find our twig. We just KNEW when to have the discipline and where-with-all to HOLD STILL & let something cover us up tightly– almost taking away all our freedom, knowing it was for our ultimate benefit!
To GROW into something fantastic and more beautiful than we could EVER imagine!!
What if that “something” that triggers our growth was buried in our trials? What if when we get knocked down–even daily, or yearly, or even that horrible once or twice-in-a-lifetime illness or death of a loved one that just shakes us–what if that’s our twig?
A sheath that seems to engulf us with pain and darkness, but really it’s protecting us for something bigger or making us stronger to honor that loved one.
No I’m not talking about “everything happens for a reason”.
No one wants this shit.
Not even God himself wants this for his children. Some things happen due to free will which — some believe — was a gift given to us to come to earth. That free will is challenged constantly, by those we love and by those we barely know. First our parents try to mold and shape our strong will into doing good, for ourselves and others. Sometimes that will gets squished and splattered as we are taught to conform into staying between the lines of the educational system or the ecclesiastical system.
The battle is a constant tug of war, sometimes with barbed wire, as we figure out who we are and where we fit in.
For parents this is a challenge. We want our kids to be this and that and do all the things, but after a few years of push back, we realize they may not want to do this or that. So do we back down and say then go do what you want just don’t come crying to me after.
“You make your bed…you sleep in it…”
Or do we encourage free thinking and exploration while holding loving boundaries?
Even when this exploration causes great pain and turmoil?
The challenge of parenting has a lot to do with how we see ourselves. Are we capable of seeing ourselves as an emerging butterfly going through all the challenges to get through the cocoon? Or do we kick and scream the whole time?
This doesn’t mean we like it. Nor that we understand it. We just somehow know and realize that this is our lot in life and everyone’s lot is different.
So what will you do with your time of waiting? Will you be still? Waiting for the beauty, the snippets of joy? Will you hold on to your heart knowing the love for yourself and your struggling person is intact?
Can you stand in that gap of the time between light and dark–otherwise known as sunset and sunrise–knowing there will be a new day?
Can you offer hope and love to yourself for your transformation to learn as you go, to grow as you learn, and the love that comes out the other side?
Even if it’s not what you anticipated or remotely wanted?
What is the alternate?
The constant struggle for peace. Constant denying that there is a plan in place. Constantly thinking you know better than a God, or than your child’s innate sense of self. Constantly trying to change the course.
This isn’t about not helping, not trying to reduce harm. This isn’t about cutting off yourself from your own heart or your child’s heart. This is about what shows up. Seeing who you can help. Spreading kindness when possible. Expanding the life and love you have in your heart even if it’s hidden under years of pain and disappointment and loss.
I will try, along with you, to offer the best version of myself in this journey.
I will still cry, pray, hope and learn all I can. I will take every opportunity that arises to find my higher self, and be my best self so that I'm not taken down to the depths of the tunnel of apathy and bitterness.
Because my life matters. My son’s life matters. Our own individual journeys matter. We are all playing out each other’s stories in the biggest Broadway play of life.
Sometimes there’s an audience, and sometimes we are desperately alone. Sometimes we roam free to discover more, sometimes we feel locked in our own prison. But wherever we are, we always have the ability to access our own strength and our own courage and our own volumes of love spilling out just waiting to be given freely.