Day 225/365 Metamorphosis

Give yourself time, they say.

You are not promised any time, they (also) say.

Sometimes I get really turned around listening to “self help” advice. Is it okay to give myself time to go inward and grieve? Or am I wasting precious time doing so; time of which I am not promised an infinite amount?

Even here on this blog…some days I will tell you that wallowing is a worthy and necessary indulgence. Other days I will tell you that you may regret wallowing because you may miss out on something really important while you are focusing on the negative aspects of your life.

(You should probably stop taking advice from me…clearly I am a bit unstable).

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Still here?

Okay, listen…

The truth is I think both can be true. We can wallow, and doing so we can prepare to begin anew. 

Just as the caterpillar forms a cocoon in order to begin her metamorphosis into a beautiful butterfly, when we go inward and grieve (wallow) we have the opportunity to then emerge transformed.

It may appear to the onlooker that nothing is happening inside that cocoon (or maybe it appears that what is happening is naps and binge watching Netflix with lots of wine & chocolate), but in reality, a rebirth is taking place.

Really.

Within that safe space – that cocoon – we can heal. We are given the capacity to become more beautiful and free than we ever imagined.

BUT…

It’s important not to get trapped there, in the cocoon.

It was never meant to sustain us.

When our vibrant colors begin to bleed through…when our newfound wings begin to feel cramped…

My dear, it’s time to break free.

 

Day 191/365 Exposed

She walks into the room, a little-bit-of-a-thing with big blue eyes and red framed glasses. She is the definition of small but mighty. She sits down on her little swiveling stool and looks me in the eye.

“You look tired,” she says.

I burst into tears. (This always happens to me here.)

Perhaps its the extreme vulnerability of laying in a reclined position in a hospital johnny (opening in the front, please!).  Maybe it’s because she was there both times I became a mother.

She’s seen me at my most raw – at my most powerful and most powerless moments.

She hands me a box of tissues, apologizing that they are the worst tissues ever.  It’s true, it feels like I am wiping my eyes with a paper towel. 

I’m annoyed now because I don’t have the energy for crying but I can’t stop, and accepting the tissues feels like an agreement to share what’s happened.

We’re in it together now…

I recount for her the low-lights of the twelve months since my last appointment.

She’s quiet for a minute, then finally she says, “That’s a lot.”

Uh-huh.

“Do you have a good therapist?”

After the appointment I found myself with about a half an hour before I had to pick up my girls. There is a little beach around the corner from the park and ride where the bus lets them off. It’s a private beach, but I know it will be deserted this time of year.

As soon as I get out of my car I can smell that the beach is much more fragrant than usual. Tropical Storm Jose has churned up a lot of sea life and has deposited much more of it than usual onto the beach. What was typically a sandy beach was now covered in a bed of shells, rocks, and seaweed.

As I stood there surveying the beach, it occurred to me that just as coastal storms churn the ocean, exposing things that were once hidden, so too do the emotional storms of life.

Just as we can walk the beach after a storm and discover things previously hidden in the depths, so too can we discover things about ourselves that we never knew until they were unexpectedly (and perhaps unceremoniously) exposed.

This new beach may not be as comfortable to walk on as it once was, but it is still beautiful…even a bit more interesting…with stories to tell to those who will listen.

I close my eyes, feel the sun on my face, and listen to the waves.