Wings of Change


Most of the time when people come into my office to talk, they are struggling with some aspect of unwanted change. Upfront honest—change can be rough because it interferes with our illusions of control, and makes our emotions bounce around.  Fear, anger, depression….these are just symptoms, and they tell us that we are trying to regain balance, and find a new rhythm to our life.

I’ve found that most people lose a bit of stability when a personal philosophy of life (we all have one) lacks enough pliability to bend with a change occasion, and sometimes anxiety bubbles to the surface. To re-balance, I think we must find a way to reframe the perception of change and maybe it's best described by using a metaphorical approach, so bear with me. 

The experience of change can sometimes be a confining place, but it's full of new opportunities and I think we can use it to reach for the sky, if you will.  Metaphorically to spin a cocoon like a caterpillar or a silkworm.  I'm thinking about this because I recently watched this happen in my garden with caterpillars and butterflies.  It seemed to me that the heavy little worm understood on some very wise level that the end of a season was imminent.  The butterfly is an archetypal symbol of the soul, so maybe the caterpillar heard the whisper of an inner voice, or maybe she felt the shortened rays of the sun, but for whatever reason-- she listened. We all know that feeling. When that inner voice tells us that it's time to prepare for change. Breathe.  It can be a blessing in disguise, because it gives you the opportunity and the time to explore who you are and what you really want.

There must be something to that, because the caterpillar wraps herself in a cocoon to give herself some time to transform. For us, maybe a time for introspection. Maybe a  time to ask if you have been living a dream that doesn't fit you anymore--or maybe it never did.  Maybe something you've always wanted, but didn't dare hope for. That's heavy stuff and you need time to think it through.

If you consider the caterpillar, safely wrapped in the cocoon of change, a miracle of transformation begins. The former way of being is morphing into something beyond imagination. It's probably not comfortable, and the caterpillar is unaware that she will awaken with the means to carry her beyond change---wings. But the seasons do change and light chases the darkness away. The little worm embodies change, and she emerges as an exquisite being who has spun darkness into silk.

So how can we experience this beautiful rite of passage and carry on when change is inevitable and everything seems upside down, and when your life outgrows your coping philosophy?  I think we may just as well toss the old attempts at making sense of things, (they weren't helping anyway), let go of the search for magic pills and band-aids and effectively “spin silk” by listening to the wisdom we find deep inside.  Maybe have a good cry and grieve unwanted change. Maybe take some time to talk it through and let things settle down a bit. And then begin to crawl out by asking what we really want for the future, and believing that it is possible. Change can be your friend. Honestly, you probably subconsciously created your current situation because staying where you were became intolerable.  You wanted more--and you can have it. 

Just don't give up now. Darkness doesn't last forever, and in that split second gap between the old and the new, possibility opens its door to change, and we start to feel a whole lot better. I can't explain exactly how it happens, I just know it does. Questions morph into knowledge. Certainty disappears and becomes wisdom. I think it’s a work of art. Hang in there, catch the smallest glimpse of light, reach for it, and extraordinary things can happen. Change finds her wings and she flies.

Hopeful Quote