One of the most beautiful transformations to occur in nature is the morphing of the caterpillar into a butterfly. The transformative process is known as “chrysalis”.
During the chrysalis process, something incredible happens inside of the cocoon; the entire body of the caterpillar transforms into liquid before reassembling itself as an emerging butterfly, which can take between 5 to 21 days.
In Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth, he describes the rigidity that occurs when one clings to a form of identity. He argues identification with constructs detract ourselves from realizing who/what we really are.
For some, occupation fills the spot where self-identity ought to reside. Who you are is so much more you than what you do.
A few weeks ago, one of my best friends gave me the best advice I’ve heard in a while.
“Aaron, look back at the last ten years of your life – and write down a list of the things that have been the most consistent in your life. These things that have lasted ten years will be with you for the rest of your life.
The advice was like a lightning bolt of truth, providing a sound true north to guide me as I navigated some challenging questions in life.
Over the years, I’ve put on a lot of different hats and made the mistake of finding identity in them.
E.g. I’m a religious person, inhabitant of a certain city, worker in a certain occupation, or in various types of soci-romanti-fessional relationships.
Looking back, none of these things were me.
Thus, when the house of cards they were built on collapsed – the healing process took a substantial amount of time to untangle the emotions, thoughts, and hopes/dreams tied to something separate than myself.
When you look at life through the consistencies, rather than the occupations, it seems like the line between dancer and dance begins to meld together.
After all, that’s the beauty of this whole life thing – we’re the song, and the note…the dancer, and the dance. Harmony prevails when these two concepts accept their nature with each other, and allow room for each to grow and play their part.
What are your consistencies? What are the trends you’ve seen in your life, agnostic from occupation, location, and pride? Take down a list and write down the things which come to the front of your mind, or which take a little bit of time to uncover.
I think you’ll find the process to be healing, transformative, and reassuring that you – as you are – are so much more than enough.
Fly, beautiful butterfly.