I've often wondered if the caterpillar knows what it is doing when it enters the chrysalis stage, and what it will become. Does it know how beautiful it will be? Or does it surrender to the fact that it has served it's purpose as a caterpillar, can no longer survive as one & takes a leap of faith into an unknown destiny? Either way, the caterpillar does create it's cocoon and begins the process of change. It breaks down almost entirely, leaving only the vital pieces, and forms a new creature inside it's protective shell. What I find so inspiring about this magnificent insect, is that so much of it's journey has to be done independently. In order to survive the transformation & thrive, the butterfly MUST emerge from this cocoon ITSELF. It must struggle to push it's way through the tiny opening of it's cocoon. This pushes fluids out of it's body and into it's wings, allowing them to develop properly. As painful as it can be to watch, if you try to help, you could prevent the butterfly from ever being able to fly. I believe this is such a valuable lesson for us to learn as friends. Sometimes, the best thing we can do to help someone who is struggling is to let them struggle, and allow them to grow and transform themselves.
The reality is I can no longer survive as a caterpillar. This life stage has served it's purpose, and prepared me for the next. I don't know what the future looks like, and getting there sometimes looks daunting and scary. Walking this journey has been a long and painful process. Although I am certain not all the pain is done, I am confident there is much joy to come. I know that as long as I focus on what I need to be doing for today, I will emerge a beautiful, healthy, strong butterfly. ..and THAT is something I look forward to! I also know that not everyone likes butterflies, but I find comfort in remembering that not everyone has to.