“Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful. It’s the transition that’s troublesome.” ~ Isaac Asimov
Considering metamorphosis, we are more like butterflies than we typically think. We go through stages, we spread our wings, we soar, sometimes we get caught, and we evolve into something beautiful – if that’s what we choose. That’s a lot of similarities between we humans and the sentient being, Lepidoptera.
And sometimes a part of us must die before another part can come to life. Even though this is a natural and necessary part of our growth, it is often painful or, if we don’t realize what’s happening, confusing and disorienting. In fact, confusion and disorientation are often the messengers that tell us a shift is taking place within us. These shifts happen throughout the lives of all humans, as we move from infancy to childhood to adolescence and beyond. With each transition from one phase to another, we find ourselves saying goodbye to an old friend, the identity we formed in order to move through that particular time.
Sometimes we form these identities in relationships or jobs, and when we shift those areas of our life become unsettled. Usually, if we take the time to look into the changing surface of things, we will find that a shift is taking place within us. For example, we may go through one whole chapter of our lives creating a protective shell around ourselves because we need it in order to heal from some early trauma. One day though, we may find ourselves feeling confined and restless, wanting to move outside the shelter we needed for so long; the new part of ourselves cannot be born within the confines of the shell our old self needed to survive.
Feelings of joyousness or anguish might present as we say goodbye to part of ourselves that is dying and make way for a whole new identity. You’ve been there, haven’t you? We may find inspiration in working with the image of an animal or insect who molts or sheds in order for new skin, fur, or feathers to emerge. We can surrender to this process, letting go of our past self, and welcome the new with an open mind and heart, ready for our next phase of life. Or we can choose to not let go.
As you transition through life, here are three ways to cradle the changes:
Let go of why. The answer to why isn’t always obvious. It can take months or even years to get the full perspective on why certain events happen in your life. Believing in ‘not knowing’ will relieve you of considerable apprehension. Sometimes it doesn’t matter why. It’s happening, so now what?
- Follow your intuition. Some transitions can’t be analyzed and thought out (I know, I’ve tried). The changes and shifts you are going through may be so subtle that you have to sit quietly and listen to what your instinct is telling you. Once you’ve analyzed, ad nauseam, turn the matter over to your heart. It knows what you want and where you are going before your brain does.
- Journal. Write it all down. Journaling is healing and helpful during transitions. When your emotions are shifting faster than you can keep up with, it’s good to be able to go back and read everything that you’ve gone through and what you’ve been thinking. It’s good to release your pent-up feelings on paper.
Keep the memories, choose to surrender, and move forward. You’ve done it before. 🙂