Just trying to change the world, one blogpost at a time.

16 July 2016

In Transition.

Probably one of the creatures I find the most fascinating. Granted if one flew into my room I would definitely be skanking like a mad woman but there's something about them that's just so beautiful.
Not their patterns, even though some of them are amazing, but their process.
It will never cease to amaze me that they start off as mere caterpillars and after some time away, they emerge as completely new creatures, now able to fly.

Being in my early 20s, I often feel as though I'm in transition. Gone are the days of University and all that comes with full time education, but I'm not quite at the point where I'd consider myself a fully fledged woman. Just chilling in a cocoon somewhere trying to figure things out. I'd like to believe that inspiration can be found in anything and so today I'd like to share with you 3 things I have taken from the journey of a butterfly.

1. Embrace the skin you're in.  
Have you ever seen a caterpillar trying to fly? Have you ever seen a butterfly trying to crawl? Probably not. At each stage the caterpillar/butterfly embraces it's current position. Though the caterpillar probably knows in the end it'll transform, it doesn't try to cheat the process. Instead it simply works towards being the best caterpillar it can be, eating leaves and trying to avoid being eaten by birds, even if it sees it's friends heading off to their cocoons. On the flipside, perhaps the butterfly misses its old caterpillar friends and the way it used to live but it doesn't attempt to stay in the place its outgrown. We humans can often be guilty of lacking patience; attempting to wear the skin of our future selves without going through the processes necessary to get there. We hear the stories of people who did incredible things with their lives and want to emulate the same just without the late nights, and sacrifices and all that extra stuff right? Alternatively, we might get complacent and comfortable at a level that is no longer causing us to grow, remaining stagnant because we fear what will come next, or what we will have to leave behind. The way I understand it is this - life is like a game that lasts the entirety of your life. Each person has their own unique levels that they need to get through. Though you might not go through them in chronological order, you'll revisit the ones you skip later on in life. Just like in a game however, every level is different and though you may use some tip and tricks you learnt previously, the level you're currently on will pose a different challenge. Similarly you might anticipate that you'll have to defeat a monster on level 25 but trying out the moves you'll need then isn't going to help you get through level 4. Your surroundings, acquaintances, abilities and challenges all change as you go through a game just as they do as you journey through life. Take note from the butterfly and focus on the part of the journey you're on.

2. Don't be scared of the dark. 
As we all know, the caterpillar doesn't just wake up one day suddenly transformed. It spends time in a cocoon, in the darkness, away from its past surroundings. The first thing to note is that the caterpillar spins the cocoon itself - mummy doesn't come and say 'Heh, time to change oya get up!', its a voluntary process and not a pretty one at that which brings me onto my second point. The transformation process is far from glamorous, from my understanding of it (please correct me if I'm wrong), the butterfly essentially disintegrates itself leaving only the parts that are needed for it to become a butterfly. As humans, there may be periods of darkness in our lives, in fact this is probably guaranteed. They'll be times where we need to distance ourselves from our current surroundings, where we need to strip ourselves down and find the core qualities needed to progress and it definitely isn't always easy. Self evaluation is one of the most necessary, but sometimes brutal, processes that we as people who want to progress in life should do on a regular basis. Taking a step back to pause and ask ourselves questions like, "Which areas do I need to improve in?", "What am I doing that isn't working for me?", "What are my weaknesses?", "How am I impacting those around me?" - the answers may not always be ones we want to admit but once we are honest with ourselves we can start identifying what needs to be stripped away. Now of course, we also need to acknowledge our positives; the things we are good at, areas of interest, any characteristics that we are particularly proud of or that other people recognize as good - these things will form the skeleton of our new bodies. Though frightening and painful at times, the darkness can be a great place to be because it forces you to deal with yourself and get ready for the light that's about to enter your life.

3. Be bold, be beautiful. 
Once the transformation is complete, the butterfly emerges - bold, beautiful and proud. We too should be proud of our spots and stripes, of our accomplishments and of our journey so far. Unlike butterflies, our transformation goes on forever. We are constantly changing and evolving and trying to figure things out and sometimes, we get lost in the journey ahead forgetting to give ourselves credit for the steps we've already taken. I'll admit I am super critical of myself and sometimes don't necessarily feel beautiful (inside or out) and it takes saying to myself, "Actually I did pretty well at that yesterday," or "Maybe I am slaying in this outfit today," and best of all, "I think my words might have actually touched someone today." The point is, we all have things to be proud of, even if we think they are minuscule in comparison to our dreams or to what we think other people have done but in this journey called life, every step counts; even if it only moves us forward a fraction of an inch, we've still moved forward. Give yourself more credit - you are unique and beautifully so and, just like butterflies, deserve to be celebrated for the wonderful creature that you are!

Stay Blessed,

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