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The Work of Transformation

Feb 25, 2021 03:22PM ● By Rachel Trigueiro

The Beauty of Becoming

By Rachel Trigueiro
February/March 2021

Metamorphosis: the transformation process from an immature form to an adult spurred on by abrupt change, producing a completely different outcome by natural or supernatural causes.

All magnificent things transition from one spectacular being into another, from embryo to fetus, baby to child, seed to plant, caterpillar to butterfly. The evolution of caterpillar to butterfly has astounded mankind for centuries, perhaps because we long to see our own lives transform in such miraculous ways. As a society, we root for the underdog. We live for the rags-to-riches stories. We long to see beauty rise from ashes. 

Not commonly discussed, however, is the process it takes to get there. What starts as an egg becomes a larva. The larva becomes a very hungry caterpillar who swells himself with food and eventually wraps himself away from the world becoming a pupa. Horridly, this fuzzy worm-like creature begins to digest itself, turning into caterpillar soup. Once the caterpillar is completely disintegrated, the protein-rich soup along with vital cells wondrously morph into the beauty we call a butterfly. 

As humans, we have an innate desire for beauty, yet the work of becoming happens in the isolated unseen moments of the cocoon. It’s the painful dark that releases the transformative work of flying. We praise the end result instead of the process. We want the fairy-tale ending without the work of the chrysalis.

But what if the brokenness, rehabilitation, truth-tellers, silence, mundane, pain, help and grace is the process to the metamorphosis of life? What if the journey through pain is what transforms us into brilliant creatures? 

We praise the butterfly and all her beauty, when really we should praise the simple caterpillar that willingly gave itself to the process.

How can we embrace metamorphosis?

Brokenness: Seeing each shard of brokenness as a piece to our own puzzle. Individually, they may not be beautiful, but when connected to the entirety of the whole, they create a spectacular representation of courage and strength.

Rehabilitation:  Not rushing the being, resting and restoring process. Asking yourself what truly brings you life and making small changes toward that.

Truth–tellers:  Finding safe people that speak truth to you, even when it’s hard to hear.

Silence: Turning off the noise, physically and mentally, in order to find solitude and connection with what matters most.

Mundane:  Seeing each repetitive task as a step toward growth and a gift of being alive, instead of despising the small.

Pain:  Looking to see how your story might inspire hope in others, instead of sulking.

Help: Seeking help when you need it, not just when you’re desperate. Healing often comes through the hands of others.

Grace:  So often, it’s easier to give to others than yourself. Practice giving yourself more grace to be, feel and not have it all together. 

Process:  Leaning into the difficult moments instead of fighting them, though painful, brings clarity, peace and ultimately, freedom.

Inch by inch, life has its way and leads the flow, but we always move in the direction we long to go. We either view this change as a hollow tomb or allow the chrysalis of life to transform us. Relinquishing control, embracing the dark unknown, and allowing life to reshape who we were always becoming. Darkness is not the end – it’s the beginning. “Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, she became a butterfly.”