What Is Your Greatest Butterfly Moment?

Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly…

I woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning. I was just grumpy for no particular reason. Actually, it could have been because it was Monday… or because I went away for the weekend and was exhausted from the trip… or because my introvert, who spent a lovely 3.5 days with my boyfriend and my family, was screaming for some recovery time. Whatever… the reason isn’t important.

As they often do when I’m in a sour mood, my thoughts, feelings, and emotions ran amok. I contemplated where I was going with my life, cried because I didn’t know how to get there, and spent a good chunk of time just feeling sorry for myself. I wallowed in self pity because I felt lost in the world. I felt like I lost my direction in life, which of course led me to feeling worthless, vulnerable, confused, and angry because today, my life didn’t look like how I wanted it to. In essence, I held on for dear life and tried my best to ward off the existential anxiety attack I felt coming on.

At some point during the day, I started thinking about all the feelings I was experiencing and had a huge insight. I’d been here before — I’d felt lost in the world at other times in my life and had the same feelings of worthlessness, vulnerability, fear, and anger that my life didn’t look like how I wanted it to.

There were all the times I was dancing in high school and knew that my skill level didn’t compare to those of my peers, so I just knew my dreams of dancing professionally would never happen because I sucked. Period. End. Of. Sentence.
There was the time I graduated from college with a BFA in dance and absolutely zero work experience, so I took an entry-level administrative job in an industry I didn’t care about and stuck it out for 5 years because I didn’t know I could make a different choice in life.
There was the time I got fired from my job two weeks before I started grad school. Oh, and I had just purchased a brand new car with a lovely monthly payment that I was responsible for.
There was the time I unexpectedly got laid off from my job of 8 years, which was my anchor in life at that point and where I put about 95% of my energy in life.

Like I said, I’d been here before. Which means I’d come out of it before, too. I had moments in my life when I knew everything was falling apart, and moments when I realized everything would be alright as long as I just kept going.

I call those ‘butterfly moments’. Those times when you feel like your life is over and your world is coming to an end so you might as well give up now. But you don’t. You stick it out, keep pushing forward, and continue putting one foot in front of the other until you break through whatever was holding you back.

Like a caterpillar changing into a butterfly, we go through times of transition in our life. Unlike a caterpillar, we don’t just go through it once. For us, it is cyclical. We start as a caterpillar, munching on leaves and living a pretty small existence. Then when we know we’re ready for something more, we find ourselves in a dark place (our cocoon) that is helping us prepare for what is next in life. Next, we break free from the cocoon transformed into a beautiful creature soaring in the sky and letting our wings take us to places we never imagined. And then, because we’re human, we find that we get used to our new world and find that we want more, we go back to munching leaves and living a pretty small existence. Until we’re ready to transform again.

So next time you feel like darkness has fallen or you have lost your way, just remember that you’ve been here before and as long you just keep moving forward, you’ll eventually spread your wings and soar.

I put my greatest butterfly moments down below, if you want to read more. Or, check out more of my blog on www.joyful-coaching.com/blog.


My butterfly moments…

There were all the times I was dancing in high school and knew that my skill level didn’t compare to those of my peers, so I just knew my dreams of dancing professionally would never happen because I sucked. Period. End of sentence. TRANSFORMATION: I studied dance at a top ranked college in California and earned a degree while studying the only thing I was passionate about at that time.
There was the time I graduated from college with a BFA in Dance and absolutely zero work experience, so I took an entry-level administrative job in an industry I didn’t care about and stuck it out for 5 years because I didn’t know I could make a different choice in life. TRANSFORMATION: I took night classes during those 5 years in a subject completely unrelated to my degree to obtain the pre-requisites needed to apply to grad school in Counseling.
There was the time I got fired from my job two weeks before I started grad school. Oh, and I had just bought a brand new car with a pretty monthly payment I was responsible for. TRANSFORMATION: I got a part-time job at a consulting firm that I ended up turning into a full-time career.
There was the time I unexpectedly got laid off from my job of 8 years, which was my anchor in life at that point and where I put about 95% of my energy in life. TRANSFORMATION: I took a risk and decided to work for myself, which expanded my job skills ten-fold, taught me how to manage my own business, and allowed me freedom in life to do what I wanted.
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