Eboni D. Howell, LPC
“Everyone is like a butterfly: They start out ugly and awkward and then morph into beautiful, graceful butterflies that everyone loves.” — Drew Barrymore
A butterfly always reminds that there is always beauty at the end of all the pain. - Unknown
Like many of you I needed to take some time to sort out...everything! I needed to make sense of these uncertain and peculiar times. Just like everyone else I have questioned how to navigate the oddity that has become our reality. The need for self-care lead me to fall back to figure things out. What I do know is that I don’t want to come out of this quarantine the same way I entered in.
The theme of butterflies continued to present itself during this time of reflection. Butterflies represent spiritual rebirth, transformation, creativity, endless potential, vibrant joy, change, and ascension. Of all of these the ideas of spiritual rebirth and transformation resonates for me. I decided to take this an opportunity to address 4 life domains: professional, financial, personal, and spiritual changes.
Butterflies are not born as butterflies. There is a transformative process that precedes the beauty most of us admire about the butterfly. The time of metamorphosis (egg to adult) varies by species, but the average length of time is approximately 15 – 25 days or even a few months. I want to direct your attention specifically to two stages in the life span; the caterpillar and chrysalis stages. Caterpillar’s, at least to me, are not attractive. As Drew Barrymore stated they, “…are ugly and awkward.” Caterpillar’s are known to have ravenous appetites as they spend much of their day feeding. The consumption causes them to outgrow their skin and as a result they shed numerous times during this time. Changes are visibly minimal. When the time is appropriate the caterpillar spins a hardened case from silk called a chrysalis. The main function of the chrysalis is to protect from predators and be the vessel in which transformation takes place. During this stage the caterpillar’s tissues are broken down and the adult’s body structures are formed. From the outside, this appears to be the resting stage; however the action is internal and unseen by others.
Once the work of transformation is complete, the adult butterfly breaks free from its cocoon. Although wings are formed and a new body emerges, it does not take flight immediately. There is waiting period in which their wings have to dry and strengthen. The process is complete and they are ready for flight!
They are amazing little creatures, but then again so are you.
We’re in a global chrysalis stage. For some, this is a season of rest. Your pre-COVID-19 season may have been defined as overwhelming or “busy”. You don’t’ have the time, energy, or interest to do anything else. Take this time to reevaluate your priorities. For others, this season of separation is actually a season of preparation. Take an inventory of your pre-COVID-19 life. Identify areas for improvement and outline a plan of action. Here are at least 6 suggested domains to explore:
Health and Wellness
Don’t miss out on this opportunity by filling it with complaints and ungrateful moaning. Have you outgrown some things, people, ideologies, behaviors, etc.? There are some things that are not transferable in your next stage of transformation. What have you consumed causing additional and unnecessary weight?
This is powerful opportunity for us all to pause, take a breath, reevaluate, and plan. I want to encourage you. Whatever situation you may have been in before this, do not waste the opportunity to emerge better, stronger and healthier.