Words written by Kathryn Dawe
Just Imagine….after all of your struggles…’they’ say you will become a butterfly ….freakin A’ man!
You know….I love butterflies just as much as the next person, but my goodness….I seem to always feel this way after certain expressions have been used SO much….frustrated and trite seeming when attempting to still believe in the underlying intention…..truly…the caterpillar has it rough! It…..as it’s filling itself up on delicious leaves….has absolutely no idea what is going to happen to it once it enters what it may believe to be a nice cozy nest it has created for itself, for serious napping….poor bastard….but, I do…however….understand the underlying intention of comparing our struggling selves with the metamorphosis process that the caterpillar goes through to become the ever lovely butterfly….that’s where that “transformation” word comes into play so much of the time….and “breakthrough”….as in breaking through the cocoon, having transformed into the butterfly….but wow….I’m tired…tired of feeling that I can skip right to the end and avoid all of the pain and uncertainty and trauma that can go along with that whole metamorphosis process….and not being able to recognize what the damn process even is, or means….any further attempts at bypassing this onion peeling excavation process are finished…it’s exhausting one way or another, and truly, I’d rather have all of that “shit” off loaded, thank you very much!…than continuing to wallow around in the dung heap….it’s drawing flies, don’t you know….
SO….sometimes I find that I have to take things a little more on the chin…..sometimes literally…well, once anyway….I’ve got a nice scar from it…..enough of that….back to the “in your face”…or my face, as it were….if you are anything like me, you’ve been searching for “the” answer…..the one answer to answer them all….the magic light switch…the sacred text…the secret herbs and rituals….and on and on it goes….put your left hand in and shake it all about….do the hokey pokey, blah blah blah…..now, you may also be like me and be exhausted from this never-ending search and rescue event….gahhh…the search for “the” answer in order to rescue your very own self from the shit mess that’s somehow become your normal…..NOW, I’ve been on this hunt for a number of years…I’ve purchased dozens of books, courses, events, workbooks and trainings…hunting for an answer that would deliver me out of my seemingly never-ending struggle so that I could finally transform (ugh) into the damn butterfly that “they” say I’m s’posed to be….I’ve given up, and then tried again….and then given up, and then tried again…..over and over and over….but it wasn’t until I finally understood this one thing…really, this one thing did it….maybe I was ready to hear it after all of my searching and repeating beliefs, behaviors and patterns that I couldn’t seem to overcome or change…..who knows…but I will tell you, that if you can fully embrace this one fundamental truth…..you can morph yourself into any gorgeous damn butterfly that you want….or any other creature of your very own choosing, for that matter….
YOU are wondering, right?….ok, Miss on the chin…what is this one thing….well, let me first tell you that, in the midst of all of my books and other debris…I have taken quite a number of coach trainings… I’m fascinated by them…but there was one line in a training about coaching people through transitions, by Dr. David Krueger….(a brilliant man, btw)… that sucker punched me right on the chin…and here it is, and I quote:
“Every step forward requires relinquishing a past position” – Dr.David Krueger
Yep…that’s it….now…it took me bit of time to come to terms with this, I’ll admit to you….and I mean….time….I recognized the absolute truth of this statement immediately, but I still resisted it…kicking and screaming…let me explain…
I recognize that this can be a bit in your face….to understand that you must give up parts of the person that you have been, or at the very least, the person who you believed that you are or were….and this can scare the crap out of the mind and the ego….but what I’ve found to be the biggest hinderance for most people, and myself in particular, is the fear that it will delegitimize or invalidate your experiences and traumas…..that it will somehow let these people, even yourself, off of the proverbial hook for mistakes, transgressions, hurt, abuse etc….this resistance is what keeps us stuck in a seemingly never-ending cycle of retraumatization as we continue to hold our traumas and experiences tight to our breast, in fact holding them sacred, right?… while we careen around in the cycles of struggle….thus, we choose to stay in the cocoon of painfully experiencing the continual loop of melting down and struggle…completely resisting being reformed or remade into life beyond the struggle and pain….and often times reaching a point of desperation and even hopelessness…..desperate for a way out of the pain, and hopeless that it is even possible….why is it, do you suppose, that we can hold on soooo tightly to things that we really want to be free from??? Tell me….if you have any idea why this happens…..
I actually may have an idea or two of my own that I will, in fact, share with you here…..for when there is pain in the doing of a thing and pain in the not doing…..and how we can begin to step through the mess and reach toward better things….a life out of the depths of the pain and trauma, where it no longer shackles you and keeps you trapped in the darkness….
Now, let me just tell you a bit of a story…..so in and amongst my years of searching for my “miracle magic ring” that would transport me out of my struggle and misery….there was one thing that I refused to commit to doing….and that was listening to my intuition, my body, and my heart…you see, I was in a relationship that for years was exhausting, difficult and traumatizing ….It was like being on the giant pirate ship swing at the amusement park….back and forth and back and forth…complete with screaming and the knowledge that it was not fun!!! And that I never wanted to get on the ride again…yet there I went, on that ride, over and over again…sign me up! I know it will be fun this time…and then AHHHHHHHH!!!! I’m never doing that again!…and….damn right…there I’d go back on that sucker again…..now, I am not recommending to anyone that their healing and transition is dependent on ending a relationship!!! NO, NO, NO….mine, however, was….at least to the point that I could see clearly enough that the transitioning to a time beyond the struggle was possible….there was no way for me to get to who I was and what I wanted, until I left that abusive co-dependent relationship…it was all consuming and I was exhausted just from that…in spite of the fact that I continuously attempted to reinvent myself, believing that that would make everything better…..now…upon ending that relationship, I found myself repeating a similar scenario with a friend….it really was just a continuation of learning a really hard lesson…and it wasn’t until I could finally stand up for what I wanted, and didn’t want, that I was in a position to implement some action to dislodge myself from the quicksand that I felt that I had been standing in for years….however, I have come to recognize that these patterns of allowing myself to be treated in an abusive way, were my own creation….this was MY quicksand….mixed to my exact measurements and specifications….made up of, people pleasing, unworthiness, self deprecation, trauma, betrayal and my feelings of being “too much” and “not enough” all at the same time….add a fire breathing dragon in there too….and judging myself harshly in turn….this becomes the cement mixer and furnace of our “stuckness”…..and without relinquishing my space in that quicksand, I would never be able to move through the struggle and toward that lovely gate that finally leads to the 10.4 version of me….filled with uncertainty, excitement and possibilities! Infinite possibility…just imagine that!
Now, before you go off on me and start saying, “yea, but Kathryn, I’m dealing with this, that, and the other thing!”….that is in fact true…but as you know…we all have “this, that and the other thing”… but it is our self imposed limitations, justifications and excuses that help to hold us in place…these, and beliefs, patterns and behaviors that we are unwilling to recognize or give up….and these are all based in fear and uncertainty….but, literally, and hear me on this….you will not be able to move one step until you relinquish that space that your one foot is holding….is this not how we walk to our car? Or through the grocery? Or walk through the halls of work or that interview?…..This is the only way to move anywhere….maybe for you it is relinquishing a certain role that you have had in a particular relationship, or in your family, or at work, or even with yourself……we cannot delete our experiences,(believe me I’ve tried!)… but we can, for sure, integrate them into being a PART of who we are, but not the entirety of who we are….The Who we are today, is not The Who we are tomorrow, or the day after that…and so on….and we have the privilege and responsibility to choose this with intention, compassion, excitement, humility and grace…..this does not invalidate or devalue your experiences, but it does honor them…and it honors you in turn…..
Honor yourself with his gift….it will affect others in the most unexpected ways as well….your stories are yours, but you are truly not your stories…..
Embrace your transition and the discomfort and uncertainty that it brings….as my daughter and I always used to say when she was young…”if we don’t change, we don’t grow”….
SO…break on through….grieve if you need to , jump for joy if that feels right…do whatever you need, but honor yourself and relinquish one position today….you get to choose what that is, and where you want to start…..
What position have you been holding on to so tightly that is keeping you stuck in a place that you no longer want to be?