Alone, but don’t want to be? Abandoned and left behind by family, friends, and the world? Disappointed in yourself? Not who you think you should be? Stuck at a dead end, and yearning to take flight? Good. It’s time for you to leave yourself behind, too, by staying right where you are. It’s caterpillar time, time to shed your skin and bust out the ultimate you that’s been silently lying dormant within, there since you were born.
We don’t come into this world at our best. We’re born caterpillars crawling and eating, aimlessly growing and storing up the psychic fuel we’ll need for the day we cut ourselves off from the world and embark–alone–on the metamorphosis to our best self. You may not have seen it coming, but when you’re at your most lonely is definitely the best time to begin.
Now, hang on. Don’t roll your eyes thinking, oh, boring, another caterpillar into a butterfly metaphor! Puhleeeze! Forget the wimpy stories of how a caterpillar gets cozy in a soft cocoon until one day it wakes up and “poof,” it’s a butterfly. Truth is, a caterpillar doesn’t change, it erupts into a butterfly, cannibalizing itself, feeding off the old to trigger the better new self it was meant to become. If you’re feeling alone and cut off from the world, it’s time to trigger your metamorphosis.
Butterflies aren’t the girly Tinkerbells they’ve been portrayed to be. They’re the badass transformers of the insect world. The mild-mannered caterpillar actually has dormant super cells embedded inside destined to eventually become legs and wings and all the other parts of the butterfly yet to be. There’s no clue from just looking at the caterpillar. Even the caterpillar doesn’t realize the mega-potential that lies waiting within. All it knows is that there comes a time when it needs to go off alone and begin developing an extremely hard inner shell. Forget the image of the soft silky cocoon. Caterpillars don’t spin cocoons. Inside, just under their outer skin, they grow a chrysalis, a hard shell that covers their entire body. Once it’s ready, they shed the outer layer of skin to reveal the chrysalis, which protects them while inside their dormant cells begin to take action. Inside, all the old cells break down into what you could call stem cells, ready to be reprogramed, pulling everything apart before putting it all back together as the new and improved butterfly. When the transformation is complete, the butterfly busts out of the shell, stretches its wings and takes off into a whole new life.
What’s incredible about this transformation is that nothing is added and nothing is taken away during this change. What isn’t reconstituted is absorbed as energy to fuel the process. When the butterfly emerges, there’s nothing left over. The new butterfly is made up of all the same basic building blocks it had as a caterpillar. It does this all alone and from the inside out. Metamorphosis is not a group activity. The caterpillar gets no help and wouldn’t be able to accomplish this change if there were other caterpillars around to distract it. The caterpillar has to be alone, create an outer shell to cut itself off from the world, reprogram who it is, and emerge when it’s ready to emerge, not a minute before. If there were other caterpillars and butterflies to interfere, or try to help it out or break it out of its shell too soon, it’d ruin everything.
The miracle of metamorphosis is available to you, too, but part of the price of being human is you have to do the work yourself. You can’t rely on Nature to trigger your metamorphosis while you just go along for the ride. You have to trigger it for yourself, but that’s also the benefit of being human. You can make it happen just by wanting it to. Finding yourself feeling lonely and cut off is a major clue the time may be right.
When we find ourselves on our own against our will, there’s usually some emotional and spiritual growth that needs to germinate in a way that having others around would impede. You may already be feeling the need to create a hard protective shell that cuts you off even more. Your chrysalis stage, so to speak. If you’re focusing on how unfair your situation is, have you considered that instead of being unfair, its exactly what you need? Is this the stage in your life for shedding the old you, breaking down who you are into the most basic elements, and reinventing yourself by tapping into the talents, skills, life experiences, common sense, and drive to launch yourself free that’s simmering within? Consider if now is the time to shut down the life you had been living and work on the kind of self-improvement that’ll reconstitute your greatest potential and bust out the ultimate you.
Tempted, but not sure if you actually have these awesome dormant skills, talents, and potential for a new, better you? Here’s a clue: You feel like crap, that’s how you know. If you were already fulfilling your greatest potential, if the life you have now is the one you’re destined to live, you wouldn’t be feeling so bad, so left behind, so helpless.
Sometimes correcting your course means you have to stay right were you are and reroute the potential within you. You’re Not Cursed! It’s time for a metamorphosis!