I was rushing to the door to get out of the rain when I saw them. Caterpillars. Crawling around stuffing their faces because they’re hungry little eating machines. Soon, they’ll stop eating, hang upside down and spin a cocoon.
Caterpillars don’t go into cocoons to grow wings. Nope. They go in there to have a meltdown. Quite literally. They digest themselves, gross as that sounds, and turn into primordial goo. If you were to cut open a cocoon at the right time, caterpillar soup would leak out.
If you wait long enough, an entirely different being emerges.
One day, the cocoon cracks open. And then, there’s no more crawling around in the dirt. A beautiful butterfly spreads it’s wings and flutters away, gently alighting on a flower to sip on fragrant nectar.
There’s only one reason that metamorphoses can happen, and it’s because even when the caterpillar is in total meltdown, some part of it knows what it’s supposed to be.
And of course it does — it’s written into it’s DNA.
I don’t think we’re really all that different…
Even when you’re having a melt down. When you’re feeling beat up by life or people or circumstances or your own dumb choices, some part of you knows.
And that’s when, more than ever,
you need to listen to your heart a little more,
and the world a little less.
Sometimes, struggle is a necessary part of growth…
Maybe you’ve heard the story of the man who tried to help a struggling butterfly out of the cocoon? Ever so gently, he split the cocoon open only to watch the butterfly die. The struggle forces fluids from the butterfly’s abdomen into it’s wings so it can fly.
No struggle, no flying.
The late Irving Stone understood struggle…
Stone spent his life studying greatness. Wrote biographies of Michelangelo, Van Gogh, Charles Darwin and more.
At the end of his career, before he died, Stone was asked if he had found a thread that runs through the lives exceptional people. Nodding, he said;
“They are beaten over the head, knocked down, vilified, and for years they get nowhere. But every time they’re knocked down they stand up. You cannot destroy these people. And at the end of their lives they’ve accomplished some modest part of what they set out to do.”
When you’re feeling a little beat up by life…
It’s really easy to doubt yourself. Look for advice, tips, and people to emulate. May I recommend blanket burrito instead? Rest. That’s all. Mental rest.
Perhaps a walk on the beach or through the forest.
Watching the stars at night.
A cup of warm and a great book
Laying on the grass under the clouds.
But don’t go into that quiet space to ponder or plan.
Don’t go there to beat yourself up or feel sad and sorry.
Just rest. Just rest.
Sometimes, what you need more than anything else is simply to reconnect with the knowing that’s imprinted on your DNA.
It was there when you were too young to judge yourself
and it still is.