Change or Die
We bought caterpillars a couple of weeks ago and patiently waited for them to become butterflies. They come in these little jars with food. They crawl around, they eat, they grow. Eventually they all make a chrysalis on a thin sheet of fabric at the top of the jar. At this point, you’re supposed to remove the sheet they’re hanging from and pin it to the side of a cylindrical net pavilion. Then you wait. And although you can’t see anything happening — it’s all rather anticlimactic — transformation is taking place inside that chrysalis.
After a little over a week, the first one makes its debut. One by one, they all come out. Soon enough, you have a pavilion with ten or so butterflies. But there were three that didn’t make it. Two which never came out of their chrysalis and one which almost did. It struggled for a day or so, but it looked like it got stuck less than halfway out. Finally, it gave up and died. That’s the thing about getting stuck. If you’re not careful, it will kill you. You have to get out of that rut if you want to fly and be free. I’m of course speaking metaphorically. But this applies to all of us, not just caterpillars and butterflies.
Maybe you’ve stayed at a job too long, a house too long, have hung on to a dream past its expiration, or perhaps an unhealthy relationship past its expiration. Maybe it’s an emotion or bad habit. It’s one thing to be in a state of chrysalis, knowing it’s temporary. Life’s pressures have a way of immobilizing us for a time. But it should be seasonal and temporary. At the end of it, we should be different. Transformed for the better.
Sometimes the only thing that makes room for the new is allowing the old to die. It doesn’t necessarily mean the end of something you love, but it always means the end of something that isn’t working anymore.
Don’t be afraid if you have to redefine yourself from time to time. Don’t be afraid of change. Change is necessary for growth and good for the soul. Change is what life is all about. We spend so much of our days trying to be comfortable — trying to avoid change — not realizing that very comfort will eventually have to be shed.
We drove to Sands Point Preserve on Long Island to release our butterflies into a more ideal environment than Queens, New York. They all flew out so excitedly when we opened the pavilion. Because in the end, that’s what transformation is all about.
Becoming who you were always meant to be.