For me, aside from their incredible beauty, butterflies signify the extraordinary growth that all living things — including humans — are able to make a choice and change. I often reflect on the journey of the caterpillar, and can make a distinct parallel to my own growth.
Thinking about it: a butterfly starts out as a cumbersome caterpillar, crawling slowly along the ground, being stepped on, and then discarded. It is easy to discount the caterpillar. Yet caterpillars somehow instinctively know that if they don’t make a huge change, they will die. As well, if they stay in their self-made cocoons for too long, they will perish; but if they try to emerge too soon, they won’t be strong enough to succeed as a fragile butterfly. Our gentle caterpillars seem to know exactly what to do to preserve their self-care and become the very best they can possibly be — beautiful butterflies — spreading their wings and flying in whatever direction they please, giving joy to those who behold them.
How can we not learn a lot from butterflies?
My journey or “Butterfly effect” began when I allowed myself to reach out for help. I remember how difficult that was for me, and I also remember the amazing people who cared enough to assist me. This beautiful couple who in the past had helped me through a domestic violent relationship welcomed me into their home. They must have sensed how ready I was to come out of my own self-imposed prison. From allowing myself to receive the nurturing they provided I was on my way to finding a solution. I found a mentor. I began with the anxiety experience, believing that this was the main issue. My mentor brought me to a new level of awareness, self discovery and self mastery. I began to engage in a self loving adventure. And then the penny dropped. I needed to peel back the layers and heal many wounded parts of me to be able to release the shame and guilt I was carrying from many behavioural/identity/values/beliefs from childhood right through to this time. I was not going to experience my beautiful wings if I had not had this awakening.
It is exactly because I have experienced crushing defeat in my life, and have humbled myself enough to reach out for the help I needed, that I know how scary it can be for my clients — to make that first phone call or send that first email to me. I often hear that they chose to contact me because of how authentically I present myself, I understand the courage it takes for them to be emotionally vulnerable with me in the session. I respect this courage.
I sometimes speak from the benefit of my experience with recovery — and they listen because they know that I understand their pain. What I know today is that even when the details of our stories are different, the feelings are the same — the shame, the remorse, the despair, the hopelessness — and what they most need is someone to tell them that recovery really is possible. I absolutely know that recovery is possible — so I continue to guide one step at a time.
If anyone had told me that I would be able to use my ‘caterpillar pain’ to help someone else become a butterfly, I would have thought they were crazy.
I didn’t know I had become a butterfly until a lot later, when other people started to notice my changes. I’m thankful they were able to do that for me because now I can act as a mirror for my clients in the same way, always striving to find something positive or self-caring they have done to encourage them to keep going on their sacred journeys. With all the modalities I have to offer, we can together create that beautiful butterfly.
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Holistic, Intuitive, Spiritual and Clinical Counselling
Brisbane and Townsville