Metamorphosis – It’s a loaded word.
When we hear the word “Metamorphosis” naturally we think about a caterpillar’s change to butterfly. A caterpillar’s sole purpose is to liberate itself and experience the world from a aerial perspective. This metaphor is what every potentially self-actualized person strives to be: an independent, self-governing entity of growth and possibility.
Looked at in pieces, Meta is defined by The American Heritage® Stedman’s Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995, as a “higher state of development.” Originating from the Greek language, the word (morph ) means “form, shape”. The suffix, osis, simply indicates a condition or process. Doesn’t mean much separately, does it? Put together, this wonderful word transforms itself: Metamorphosis is “A marked change in appearance, character, condition, or function. Also called transformation.”
It also means the big daunting “C” Word; Change.
One thing certain about Change is; without it we cannot grow. As humans, we are as capable as the caterpillar to nurture, grow and transform ourselves into a higher level of functioning but for some reason, the very idea of change trips us up. The reason: we become comfortable in what is, rather than what can be. Gaining an understanding of Change can help.
Change is what determines whether things will turn out for better or worse in the long run. Change is a verb. It is constant. It can be unpredictable and impatient. Change can be wonderful, liberating, paralyzing and completely out of our control. Change is a cliff-hanger which leaves us unglued, guessing what direction our life will be thrust in. Change is power.
Initiating even the smallest change in our lives begins with a choice, not a decision. There is a vast difference between the two. A decision is a process, it is from the mind. You only need to type the word ‘decision’ into Google(TM) to see thousands of suggested over-thought progressions to decision-making. A choice however, is from the heart. It is a superior distinction which comes from innately knowing what is in our best interest. It’s what we know to be right.
Granted, there is the possibility of making bad choices but how would one know without taking the plunge? Below are some interesting points that may help provide further insight into what Change is and what is needed to accept it:
o Death and Change are Synonymous: In the metaphysical world of Tarot Card readings, death and change are synonymous. In my investigation of Tarot card meanings I discovered an online source article written by a Tarot expert called Michelle. She explains that “the death card, card number 13 of the Major Arcana, represents change. It is about transformation, renewal, breaking free of old patterns and structures, metamorphosis, letting go and growth. Most decks illustrate this card with a skeleton, riding on a horse looking like the grim reaper. When you get this card in a reading, it means that you are about to experience a change of some sort. It is time to move on, to let go of the past and start fresh. This is not a card of sudden, cataclysmic change; it is a slower, more gradual and natural change. Change is often frightening to us, but it is a necessary and natural part of life. This card, the Death card is a positive card. I think of it as a butterfly emerging from its cocoon, or the cycles of the seasons; each has its own time and its own purpose and beauty.”
o Acceptance and Loss: A by-product of change means experiencing a loss. Similar to death, change is about ending one thing and beginning another, and part of that process is relinquishing what once was to accept what now is. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, the Author of On Death and Dying brought to light the acceptance and inevitability of change through her five stages of death: denial and isolation, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. After countless interviews with individuals who were in the process of dying she sums it up like this: “Death is simply a shedding of the physical body like the butterfly shedding its cocoon. It is a transition to a higher state of consciousness where you continue to perceive, to understand, to laugh, and to be able to grow.”
o Fear and Resistance: Resisting change is not natural, it’s intentional. Most of us get stuck in our own cocoon never wanting to burst out due to fear. In an excerpt from his new book entitled “Get What you Want” Author, Human Behavior Expert and Life Coach, Patrick Wanis sums up fear like this:
“Fear is the greatest killer of all human potential. Fear is what stops us from getting what we want. Fear stands between us and everything we want out of life.”
Fear, though does not exist.
Read that sentence again.
You might be shocked even annoyed by that statement because fear does feel real. Its physical crippling effect on our body, mind and emotions is real. But fear is not something tangible. We cannot hold it, see it or touch it. Fear is simply a thought, a very powerful thought. “Fear is the anticipation of pain, and our mind responds quickly to the alarm bell that pain is imminent or possible.”
o Courage conquers Fear: Courage lies dormant in all of us like a caterpillar in its cocoon. Remember, the Cowardly Lion from The Wizard of Oz who found his courage? Silly lion, didn’t it occur to him that he was displaying courage all along by actually choosing to seek it? A small and simple way to empower ourselves and incorporate courage into our everyday lives is by doing something we fear everyday. Challenging ourselves in this small way is liberating and enables us to burst out of our own oppressions. Therefore, with every minute decision that is second-guessed, ask yourself: Am I not doing so-and-so because I’m fearful? If the reply is yes, attempt it despite your fear and you might make a change for the better.
o Let it Go: When your choice is to move on, it is necessary to let go. By releasing yourself of a bad relationship, a past hurt or whatever, Let it go. This must be done in order to initiate change in your life. What are some things we resist letting go of? In an excerpt from a Public Service website written by James J. Messina, Ph.D. & Constance M. Messina, Ph.D., is a checklist of things worth releasing in order to openly accept change in our lives:
That darn caterpillar makes it look so easy. While the caterpillar seems to go through its change effortlessly and only once in its lifetime, we are the lucky ones. We possess the power to continually make choices and flourish and transform ourselves.
It is important to master the concept that in order to grow we need to change. In order to change we need to make a choice. In order to make a choice we need to let go of fear and in order to let go of fear we need courage.
Although riding the winds of change may at times yield a few growing pains, overall it’s worth the risk. When we choose to embrace change we unburden ourselves of guilt, fear, over-responsibility, dependency and denial and we open the door of possibilities and opportunities. Opening these doors allows us to rise above our own fears and apprehension and view the world from an aerial perspective. Then we too can experience the emancipation of the butterfly.
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