Speaking to a teenager yesterday, who is beginning his first year of college, I reminded him of the age-old symbol of the butterfly emerging from the chrysalis, and how he - the teen - would be going through that process as well at each stage of his life. And right now, it meant leaving the safety and security of his family and venturing out to live in another country and to begin studies that were very different, and almost certainly, very challenging compared to what he had been doing up to this point.
This symbolizes the emergence of the butterfly in him - at this stage of his life - that has been preparing over all these past years to be able to come out of the chrysalis (of his own making) in order to continue his trajectory as a butterfly.
I find this symbolism so very helpful, especially when you are stuck in a place where it feels you are confined, not moving forward, and yet, just beyond the horizon, you are able to discern the possibility of something that is just barely beginning to emerge.
In our lives this may happen over and over again, each time we come to a new stage that we have been preparing for, and find, that as we struggle to reach the place we want to arrive at, that we can't yet see the butterfly. It is there - just as in nature - the butterfly is there in the 'imaginal' cells within the chrysalis long before the 'real' butterfly actually emerges and can be seen in all its splendor. The magnificent Jean Houston once said: We all have the extraordinary coded within us, waiting to be released.
Are you preparing to release your butterfly?
Image: Monarch butterfly emerging from the chrysalis
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