Tuesday, June 7, 2005

Caterpillars, Cocoons & Butterflies!

(This is my photo! It has been entered in some photo contests, so I do own the copyright! Please do not download and use in any way without my permission! It was taken on Mackinac Island in the Butterfly House. I met a lovely older man working there who told me some awesome things about his life. I could have sat there all day & listened to him!)

In Sark's recent newsletter she provided a link to Joshua Kadison's website and I have really enjoyed it. To me Joshua looks like Kevin Kline in "French Kiss" and sounds a bit like Elton, which I like both so...

First his letter has some lovely inspiring thoughts! First Joshua provided this thought...

"Two caterpillers are walking along the ground when they look up and see a dazzling butterfly fluttering through the blue, all color and grandeur... one of the caterpillers says to the other one, "You'll never get me up in one of those contraptions."

I thought that was sooo awesome! Think about that! Although the opposite could be true also...we want to be a butterfly when we are a caterpillar & butterflies want to be a caterpillar! The grass is always greener.... Hmmm. Joshua uses this example to talk about how many of us do not like "change". Along with this I had been to services for a professor of mine who passed away last fall. The minister talked about this topic as well. He said when we are not yet born we are comfortable. Ideal temperature, noise level, lighting etc. Then we go through this "transition" (labor & delivery) which is very uncomfortable. We are born and now are cold with bright lights & it is quite noisy. We get hungry & have to be upset before someone feeds us etc! He said then later we can't imagine wanting to go back to the "unborn" stage because "life" is so wonderful. He told us that death was much the same way. We love life like the baby loved being inside its mother. We do not want to leave life & make that transition but once we are there we could not imagine not wanting to be there. This was somewhat comforting to me.

I also see this story as someone not wanting to take risksor daring to try. There are so many people in this world who do not think they deserve something OR someone! Maybe it is a career, maybe it is someone you wanted to go out with, maybe it is trying to learn a language (as I have my Italian program sitting next to me for months & haven't started..ugh!), maybe it is pottery (on my list!), maybe it is to learn how to play the harp (also on my list!). Why don't we try? Why don't we want to "get in that contraption?" Big deal if you don't do as well as you like or he/she says "no". At least you know. Or some don't try hard enough. They just "start" or "attempt" but don't give it their 100%. I tell my students you have to "practice!" How many of us learned to walk the very first time trying & didn't fall down? Riding a bike or swimming I use for them. I tell them if they just watch someone swim will they learn to swim? If they just get in the water & don't move their arms what will happen? If you just swim when you "need it" will you be a strong swimmer? You have to give it your 100%. I've listened to students who want to date someone and they said "they don't notice me"...make them notice! "I tried talking to them" is another response, so ask them out blatantly! What happened to that? You get the ones who want to go out with someone but are afraid to ask, interested in the ones who don't think "that person" would want to go out with them so they don't notice them making attempts or "noticing them" or think there isn't anyway they "mean anything by it". UGH!!! Ok, I'm guilty of this sometimes but Man what is life about! As Loretta says, "This is not a Dress Rehearsal!" This is a one shot deal people! Nike might be good here...."Just Do it...LIVE!" Ok, so I edited it a bit! Ha!

Joshua further talks about how many of us are waiting too... "When is my life really going to begin?" Or as Loretta LaRoche says, "When the kids are grown & out of the house then I'll be happy", "When I get married, then I'll be happy." "When I get a divorce, then I'll be happy." ETC! We are always waiting to be happy & for our lives "to begin". I made that comment to my mom once & she said, "well what have you been doing since you were born?" Ugh! Don't you hate when your mother is right. I knew that, just one of those down days. It is true though, many of us don't live our lives! When we are kids we can't wait to be a teen & drive, date etc. When we are teens we can't wait to go to college & live how we want to live (not listen to our parents!) When we are in college we can't wait to have a job, our own money, maybe be married & have kids & start our life. When you get married (I say this from what others tell me since I'm still single!) and have kids, we live for our kids and can't wait until they leave to do what we want. Then when our kids leave it may be grandkids you live for or your health is not great by then! HA! The point is your life is all those stages. Perhaps too many times it is unbalanced...that can happen. While you certainly out of love give of yourself for your soulmate and children, you also have to allow your spirit to be happy or you can't give to them. Many people think it is ok to be unhappy so long as your mate is happy or your children are happy. That is just not going to work out. You can't give happiness without having it. Sure they give you happiness but you have to have it within. You actually hurt them more if you are not happy. Just check how many times you smile that smile where all your cells in your body & spirit tingle. How many times have you been laughing so hard that you hurt or may even get a headache! Ha! It is not selfish to be happy! Making yourself happy will provide even more happiness to the ones you love! At least that is what I think...what do you?

Now Joshua also shared the following story from a friend:

"She told me a story of some people that came across a butterfly cocoon. Amazed, they watched the butterfly struggling to get free so they decided to help her out of her casing. They gently ripped open the white silken threads to let her fly away easier. But they found that she couldn't fly after all. They learned that it is in the struggle of getting out of the cocoon that the butterfly strengthens her wings so she can fly through this world. "

This is awesome as well! Great for anyone to think about if they are struggling in life with something. It is like the idea that you can not know or appreciate being loved & loving someone without experiencing the lack of love or struggle with love. I won't say the extreme needs to be there...don't need hate & abuse etc. but think about how much people appreciate something more once it is gone or if they get it back. Too often it is when we have lost someone that we really learn how much that person meant to us. We rush around with our lives & don't really spend quality time with people. I always tell my students there are so many couples who have "gone out" for say 4 years but don't know each other. They go to dinner & talk a tad & then off to a movie & then not much talking after. I tell them to go to the movie first, heck you save some money if you go early, and then go eat. I know all the waiters & waitresses will hate me, but you get to talk longer that way with dinner after! Make a picnic & just sit & talk. Now, later with families do the same thing! Families rush around to soccor practice & music lessons, etc. So go an hour early to the baseball game, take a blanket & some food & have your meal talking before the game. I once was walking on the trail & a whole family was walking together & they each had their walkman's on! UGH! They missed such a great opportunity to talk & find out what is going on with each other! Everyone watches tv together...no talking, or they play Nintendo together & think that is quality time! Ugh!!!! Sure you remember when you did those things later in life but do you really know them? I once asked my great aunt how my great uncle proposed to her. Do you know her own son listened with an expression on his face like he didn't even know this story! I just couldn't believe that! It is funny, I really like asking people this question too. It is interesting to hear the dating & proposals from those a couple of generations before me.

So maybe it is the struggles in life which make us stronger? Then struggle, struggle, struggle in life! Maybe if we keep this in mind when we are struggling & feel weaker we will get through this time period, no matter what "age" it may be or topic  - a relationship, having children, going to H.S  (for my niece who is in the fall & is worried about the Srs!), risking being rejected, trying "one
more time ETC! The struggles or transformations in life is that breaking from the cocoon & we have many cocoon stages in our life? I hope this makes some sense because if not...just chalk it up to a struggle in a cocoon & not knowing yet! Ha! 

Something else to keep in mind...the person that was trying to make it easier on the  butterfly... sometimes we think we are helping others but really we are hurting them or enabling them. I had some very loving people try to help me out the last four years as I struggled with a foot injury & then had surgery on it  in the fall and as it turns out their help has made some things worse so keep that coccoon idea in mind! Think of asking the person what is best for them. Granted they may not always know but at least it was their decision. They know what is going on, they can stop & change it at any point & say "lets try this instead."

Any other thoughts?

Oh make sure to check out Joshua's music on his website! I love his piano playing & he has some lovely songs. I really love "Sanctuary"! It makes me think of how I think of my bedroom "safe haven". I think it is what a relationship should be...a safe haven. The person you trust the most, the person you know (or what I'm saying shouldn't) won't hurt you, but unfortunately, so many in society do not see it that way, or even get it that that is what it is supposed to be. They get to know your real core spirit that I won't say others don't know but they get to know maybe everything, or maybe more deeply/intensely. The only person who may know you better MAYBE is God...or maybe they know you just as well as God. That is how I think it should be. I guess that is the idea of a soulmate then...I think. And this person gets to know you this way because you do feel that safe & you feel even safer to reveal more because you know you feel that safe with that person. And you don't feel like they will harm you & you will not do anything to harm them...ya it gets into the idea of intentional versus sometimes it does happen but maybe that is why some people sacrifice themselves...not to harm the other? Hmmm. It is the person you can feel safe to fumble & make mistakes, be the "not the best person" you can be for a while because you know they know you are not normally like this, or that you are just "trying things out" ...like on his site he talks about butterflies & cocoons...that you can struggle in your cocoon and it is ok...that society sometimes only wants you to be the butterfly stage but this person you are safe to be the caterpillar, in the cocoon transforming & also struggling in the cocoon & they will let you. Wow...this is almost getting too deep for me! Ha! 

Ok, I think all my thinking has stopped! Did I do too much... I say "Nah, Nah!" :-)

No comments: