I have always been fascinated by the life cycle of butterflies.
I won’t go into the complexities of metamorphosis, although, thanks to my third-grade science teacher, I probably could.
Long story short, the manner in which an earthbound caterpillar turns into a beautiful butterfly is actually quite gruesome. The caterpillar must completely self-destruct in order to rebuild itself, piece by piece, before re-emerging as a new and completely different creature. As illustrated by butterflies, change is messy, painful and time consuming. But, the finished product is proof that patience and perseverance produce amazing results.
What can we learn from this? Change is inevitable, yet we, as humans, resist it with the defiant resolve of a stubborn mule. Letting go and trusting the process would be a much easier alternative.
Despite possessing this knowledge, we cling to the old for fear of the new. Whether it’s finding the strength to drive away after dropping your newborn off at daycare, saying goodbye after moving your teenager into their freshman dorm, changing careers, leaving an unhealthy relationship, continuing your education or starting that new business you’ve always dreamed of owning, change is scary and almost always painful.
From the discouraging inner voice playing on an endless loop within our minds, to the tendency we have of standing in our own way, we are all cursed by the human condition. I can’t help but wonder what would happen if we had more faith and less self-doubt. Perhaps the journey of life would be a little easier to navigate if we made a conscious effort to stop sabotaging our personal growth by placing obstacles in our own paths.
When faced with change in my own life, I think of the stunning butterfly that was once a clueless little caterpillar, just like me. The caterpillar doesn’t overthink things, make excuses or sign a waiver allowing it to opt out of making a total mess of itself. Without hesitation, it finds a sturdy branch and allows nature to take its intended course.
Although I appreciate the beauty of the butterfly, it is the tenacity of the caterpillar I most admire.
Jennifer Walker owns Osmosis Marketing Solutions, a Gallia County business specializing in PR, marketing and social media management.