Sunday, June 1, 2014

Maya Angelou--On Butterflies

We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty ~ Maya Angelou.

Graceful, elegant, and stately are the words that come to mind when I think of the butterfly. But it is not born that way. A butterfly must go through a metamorphosis. I was able to see firsthand how the butterfly is transformed when I bought my daughter a butterfly garden years ago. The larvae arrived by mail. They looked like mere worms that grew longer and fatter. Eventually, they shed their skins and developed their chrysalises. It was within their chrysalises that they underwent radical changes. When they broke free of their chrysalises, the graceful, elegant, and stately creatures emerged.

As a child, I was very quiet. Some people even called me The Quiet One. I don’t know why I was so quiet. I just remember how much I enjoyed listening to the conversations and entertainment presented by others. I was quiet at school and preferred to work alone as opposed to working in a group.
Years later, I was appointed leader of a group. It was a very uncomfortable experience for me. At the time, I did not consider myself to be a leader. After all, I was The Quiet One--very observant and very much an introvert. Although being the leader was a painful experience, I survived. When the leadership position was over, I reflected on my experience and realized I could lead. I had surprised myself. It was during that uncomfortable time of my first leadership position that I began to change. I went through a metamorphosis. Consequently, I began to see myself as someone other than The Quiet One.

Often, when I look at accomplished people, I think about the metamorphoses they probably experienced in order to achieve their current status. Was it painful? Was it uncomfortable? How did they achieve the change? What was the cost? Nevertheless, we were never meant to be mere worms. We were meant to experience life-changing metamorphoses so we can become graceful, elegant, and stately butterflies.

What metamorphosis have you experienced? This is the story in you. Share it.         


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