“The mark of your ignorance is the depth of your belief in injustice and tragedy.
What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the Master calls the butterfly.”
– -Richard Bach
I have read this quote and quoted it many times. In past days I have seen it as a process for dealing with what is happening in my life at that present moment. I have learned to embrace what feels as if it is the end of the world so that I can become more and more of who I am and who I am created to be.
I used to think that when the caterpillar formed the chrysalis and disappeared; that the only thing to happen to the caterpillar was that it took a long nap and then woke up as a butterfly. During a particularly difficult time of my life, I learned that the caterpillar actually has imago cells that cause the transformation from caterpillar to butterfly.
The imago cells are the blue print for the butterfly. In order for the butterfly to become who it is supposed to be the caterpillar must first melt down into DNA goo. This process takes time and will happen over and over until the butterfly is strong enough to emerge from it’s chrysalis. This image of melt down to beauty has been an incredible comfort to me as my life has melted down over and over until I have become who I was created to be.
When I first grasped hold of this idea and made it my own story I looked at the meltdown as the immediate events in my life. The ending of a 25-year abusive marriage, my son becoming a drug addict, my family of origin abandoning me, all seemed like the imago cell meltdown of my life. I breathed and moved and hurt and struggled through these times. With the help of wonderful friends, a few good therapists, and lots of self love, I moved into a butterfly place. My life is good and I am content.
And then I became a caterpillar with a need to melt down all over again.
Several months ago I entered a new pain place that triggered many emotions. I have struggled with why those emotions are so intense, much more so than the actual pain that was occurring. My body began to respond in trauma format, wanting to vomit, not being able to eat, crying on and off for days. My reaction was way out of proportion for what had happened. I took time to look at this, to be with it, and realized the meltdowns have to be completed for the true strength of the butterfly to emerge. I am in another phase of imago melt down.
My previous imago meltdowns had been for the immediate events. Now I am dealing with the past; with childhood trauma and adult trauma that I have not yet taken out and looked at. I know that I will make it through this ring of fire because I have survived many more.
As I walk this path of embracing early traumas and healing from them, I will do so in JOY. The imago cells of my emotional body and soul need to meltdown so that I will be stronger and will be able to fly further in this next, unexpected journey of life.
I wish you strength and JOY on your meltdowns and on your strong flight.