Betty Hall, of Betty Hall Photography, has a marvelous blog entitled Betty’s Backyard Blog full of amazing photography from her garden. I particularly enjoyed two of her blog posts from earlier this year as she monitored the life of a butterfly from caterpillar to chrysalis and then the emergence of the butterfly from the chrysalis. I highly recommend taking a look to watch this transformation take place!
Although I am most fascinated by her beautiful photography, one phrase she used in her posts on this subject referred to the fact that the caterpillar liquefying inside the chrysalis before being reassembled to emerge as a butterfly. This image resonates so strongly with me at this point in my journey. I have experienced so much change, both inner and outer, over the last few months that my entire self-concept has undergone a similar liquefication. I know that, over time, this self-concept will re-emerge in a new form, but living in the current liquefied state is not a comfortable place to be.
There are so many things in my current life that not only things I never would have anticipated being part of my life but are actually things that I once would have found to be anathema. For example, the idea of visiting a shaman or working with cards would once have been things I would have considered completely verboten. And yet, here I am doing both. Although I can look back and see how my journey has been slowly bringing me here for many years, the actual emergence of most of these things in reality has happened over a very short period of time without much chance for the mental, emotional, and spiritual adjustments that need to go with them.
In addition, these drastic changes have taken place on this short time scale in nearly every area of my life—my spirituality and religious ideas, my career in actuality and in aspiration, my intimate relationships, my self-understanding in several ways. Trying to listen to that quiet voice within when all else that I thought I knew about me and about life has dissolved into liquid around me is challenging at best and more often just plain terrifying. I am grateful for the re-emergence of the connection to that inner voice, though. It is at least one thing that helps to keep me grounded and centered in the midst of this transformation. It’s one small thing that I can hold onto when nothing else appears solid.
I am grateful too for the image of the butterfly emerging at the end of the time in chrysalis. As painful as this time is, it gives me hope that I may yet one day fly!