Are You a Butterfly?

“In the end, she became more than what she expected. She became the journey, and like all journeys, she did not end, she just simply changed directions and kept going.” – r.m. drake

This too shall pass. Well, what if I don’t want it to?

Change is inevitable. But, I’m comfortable where I am!

Time and tide wait for no (wo)man. Hang on – I’m not ready!

As a child, my family took a trip to the beach when my sister was very young. We introduced her to the playfulness of the ocean for the first time. The crashing of the waves made her laugh and we all enjoyed watching her dance around in the water. After some time passed and her energy lessened, my sweet sister turned to my mom and asked “when will they turn off the waves?”

We laughed at her thought that the massive ocean was just like the wave pool at the amusement park. My mother explained that the sea water was different. The waves keep turning and turning. They never stop. We just have to get out of the water and rest.

An innocent question from child has me thinking today…When WILL the waves stop? When will things calm down? When will this pain end? How long can this last?

Whether the question of time is relevant to the passion at the beginning of an amazing relationship or the overwhelming grief from a life-altering loss of a loved one, we wonder how long this will last. Why do we find it so difficult to stay in the moment? Why can’t we enjoy the love while we have it as well as endure the pain when it’s present? Both emotions have purpose.

History tells us, change is inevitable. Nothing lasts forever (even cold November Rain according to Axl Rose). This is a terrifying thought for those wrapped in the warmth of good times. We worry about the other shoe dropping, the clock striking 12 and the carriage changing back into a pumpkin. Before we realize how good it is, we turn around and it’s gone. We waste joy, attempting to worry away pain.

Then there are the times we are drowning in misery, trying to fight for another breath to hang on through the darkness until the light finds us again. During these desperate moments, the knowledge that nothing lasts forever breeds hope where only pain lived. We can use that hope to pull ourselves and each other out of anguish until we find our footing to fight for more. Change becomes our wish, our plea, our prayer.

Change may be the only thing certain in this life. We can study and test and predict. We can bet and know and believe. But change is certain. Change will come, so let’s find a way to embrace it instead of fear it. Instead of denying it, deal with it. Instead of asking ‘why me?’, ask ‘why not me?’

I love butterflies. They entrance me. I watch these graceful creatures float around with gorgeous, intricate colors and designs. Their movements are mesmerizing, and the flap of their wings purposeful. These tiny, fragile creatures migrate across the continent, however they do so by changing and adapting along the way. The tiny caterpillar can’t make it across the country in her original form. During her development in the Chrysalis stage, it appears nothing is happening on the outside. However, a total transformation of metamorphosis takes place on the inside where at the end the butterfly is revealed. Her beauty, grace and skill must be developed over time, not overnight. Alone in the dark, she changes and becomes what she is meant to be. Her struggle has a purpose. The joy of the journey isn’t possible without it.

Are we so different? Our journey has struggle. Our journey has joy. If you believe otherwise, come talk to me, I’ll help you find both. You don’t always know which one someone is going through in the moment. Metamorphosis may be in process and you can’t see her pain. Maybe the waves got too much and she had to get out of the water to take a rest. The water will not stand still. The waves will not turn off. You cannot protect against struggle as much as you cannot prevent good things coming to an end. What you can do is stay in the moment. Be grateful for joy and pain, because one cannot exist without the other. You cannot define pain without knowledge of joy, just as joy is not possible without the memory of pain. So use that struggle. Let the pain change you, not define you and become who you are meant to be.

Find peace in the purpose of your journey.

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