Updated: Oct 16, 2021
Transformation is not pretty and a tremendous amount of faith is required. Let’s talk about it.
We all know the story about the cute caterpillar that transforms into a beautiful butterfly.
You know the one where caterpillar compulsively surrenders its life by entering into a silky coffin only to completely dissolve into goo with no known idea of the future…
This folks, is transformation. And we have a lot to learn from butterflies.
Transformation is rarely comfortable. It’s unfortunate but it’s true, we learn the most when we're suffering. It’s SO human for us to require the push of discomfort to make a change. We like being comfortable because it feels safe but the trouble is that when we're comfortable we're not growing because we don’t have to.
Let me ask you this - thinking back on your past experiences; when did you feel motivated to change the most? Probably when you reached a breaking point. When did you learn the most valuable lesson? Most likely a time you experienced considerable pain.
So it makes sense that the amount of change required for a transformation can bring us lots of uncertainty and discomfort.
There is a point in metamorphosis when the caterpillar becomes 'cell soup'. Yep! You guessed it - the caterpillar completely breaks down to be reborn as a butterfly. This transformation calls for complete destruction of the previous body, and the caterpillar’s surrender to the process. This process can teach us a lot about change. Much like the caterpillar transforming into a butterfly we too have to let our old selves go to embrace the new self.
The moment I realized I was goo in a cocoon was the moment I truly felt at peace with the present state of my life. I no longer felt nervous or lost; I knew that at some point I would break out of the cocoon into new life, but for a time I was where I had to be. In nothing-ness with no sight into the future, just an instinctual need for total destruction and surrender.
All of the crazy times in my life have really led me to better places, but this time felt different. This time, for the first time, I truly began to understand the need to completely break down so the newer version of me could emerge, and it was unlike anything I had experienced in my life before.
I remembered my caterpillar body and I remembered what it was like to be the caterpillar, but I no longer associated with that body or that life.
I had no idea what new life looked or felt like, but I knew it would be different, unlike anything I had yet to experience. Knowing that this mess I was sitting in actually provided me the gift of an amazing future made me feel calm. I had disconnected from the old body that I had outgrown and ventured into the unknown for something that was more resonating. These trials and tribulations were a part of that process and that’s okay.
The awareness of the cocoon phase came years down the road after I had been doing work on myself for quite some time. People had talked about the need to cocoon but I was never able to truly understand it until I had gone through it myself. What this taught me is that people can tell you things, they can share their experience, they can help you understand where you’re at - but for you to truly understand it you need to experience it for yourself. Give yourself permission to seek, grow, and trust yourself. You are wise, you know the truth and what you need in each moment. Trust in your process without comparing to where you ‘should’ be. Relax into life knowing that you are learning what you need to.
What did allow me to relax in my cocoon was this awareness that I was going through a transformation. It was as if once I knew there was a purpose it doesn’t seem so intense. I realized that the discomfort I felt was just that, discomfort. I wasn't doomed, that this state isn’t final, and things will improve once again. I think we all seek comfort in the chaos by telling ourselves that it all has a purpose, and you know what - it does. And this is that moment of awareness for you.
You’re not missing anything.
You’re not late.
And just because you’re not where you want to be yet – doesn’t mean you won't ever get there.
Transformation is scary. We may have to let our old life die if we want to transform but that doesn’t mean forgetting or foregranting. Your old self is the one who got you to this point, this is the version of yourself you've become familiar with and it can be hard to let this you go. And that’s okay. It’s okay to fall back into old patterns and to resist letting go of old habits. As you step into this new version of yourself do so with grace, compassion, and self-love.
Allow moments to reflect on yourself and to mourn the loss of that version of you. All of the former versions of yourself are still a part of you, they just become less dominant; the 5-year-old you, the 15-year-old you are all apart of you. As you grew up you had to move on from those versions to become you now. It’s okay to evolve, in fact, its why you're here.
So become that beautiful butterfly and keep your faith when the process of becoming that butterfly is not pretty, as growth rarely is.
Even in nature metamorphosis is explained as a ‘grotesque process’. Why would it be any different for us?
We also need to remember that sometimes we don’t realize that we’ve been in a cocoon until we have emerged as a butterfly, able to look back at the horror-show we just experienced and able to appreciate our journey. Give yourself the opportunity to grow. Stop trying to rush through the process to get to the end - instead, flow there. Moments of realization are the sweetest because you arrive there naturally. You can’t rush an epiphany; you can’t rush to the lesson. If we could we would all go through less pain I am sure! So cry, get mad, wear sweatpants, let go of things that aren’t working, release attachments, do whatever you need to do in your cocoon. Trust that you know what you need.
Right now the world is changing around us by the minute, and this change will continue for quite some time. Testing us, squeezing us, challenging us, encouraging us to wake up to higher levels of ourselves with every passing day. This rapid change has put us all in a state of cocooning in one form or another, and for good reason. This pandemic is changing our world forever, and us right alongside it. The vibration of the earth is rising which calls for our vibration to shift as well. In order for this change to happen, we have to clear out the shit. This clearing can happen to such a degree that structures, oppression, even society, as we know must completely break down in order for us to step into the new world. That is happening right now. As we all emerge from our cocoons we must remember our caterpillar selves and bravely step out with our new wings. The price of our new life is our old life. If we want the life we want we need to realize change is required.
Love yourself and appreciate the butterfly you become after every goo phase.
Love you, Katie