In the last entry, I stated: oftentimes, our teachers are the experiences themselves, often the most difficult and challenging ones. We can learn from these struggles. These karmic lessons, if we allow, will take us to the deepest and darkest places in our psyches… Suffering, challenges, struggles have their purpose(s). When we learn and grow, and embrace and have gratitude for them, they can only become the most beautiful and freeing experiences of our lives.
When caterpillars enter into the cocoon, they fully embrace the possibilities of entering into the unknown. Caterpillars don’t just grow wings inside the cocoon; they un-differentiate their tissue. That is, they turn into a blob of cells so that their cells can re-differentiate to rebirth themselves as butterflies. They choose the pain of darkness, aloneness, even physical death, for they have faith in the growth process.
The most profound experiences in my life have in no way been what most would consider fortunate, but without those experiences, I would not have had such amazing opportunities to learn and grow. Many choose to cling to and wallow in the misery and negativity difficult challenges bring. It is easy to stay in the negativity and remain bitter, angry, resentful, or take on a victim mentality. After all it is comfortable to stay the same. However if we choose to learn and grow, we must be willing to experience the growing pains and to leave what is (seemingly) known and venture into a state of embracing the unknown.
Here are a few of the challenges I am most thankful for, and the main thing I have learned from each of them. (This will be written about in depth in my upcoming book.)
- I am thankful for having had to take on much of the mother roles as a young child, for it taught me the joy of caring for house and home.
- I am thankful for having been abandoned by family, for it taught me how to be self-sufficient, independent, and be able to figure out how to create out of nothing.
- I am thankful for the abusive relationships I have experienced, for they made me aware of the shadow relationship patterns that echoed my childhood that needed to be addressed so that I could fly free.
Growing from these experiences was not easy, and much of it I had to do alone, as the abandonment patterns, etc. were to continue on as I healed, moved forward, and grew. As each layer of my psyche healed, a new challenge would appear for the next layer as I went deeper and deeper and deeper, but in each layer of darker darkness I found the most amazing light. When the process is seen as a whole, it really is beautiful!
The Heart Sutra: Gate, Gate, Paragate, Parasamgate, Bodhi, Svaha! (Go, Go, Go deeper, Go even deeper, Awareness, Light!).
The deeper that sorrow carves into my heart, the more joy it can contain. – Kahlil Gibran
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Great post Julianne Thankyou for sharing. Why is it that we learn so deeply from our challenges and pain? The caterpillar is the most wonderful analogy of how we can surrender and allow our life to unfold as it should.
Thank you Karen! Without challenges, we wouldn’t be motivated to grow. It’s all just the process of life. 🙂 Namaste _/l\_
So many people don’t get past the kinds of things you experienced. Glad you grew through it.
Thanks Bongo! 🙂
You are truly an inspiration Julie.
I love this post so much and is so true. Thank you for sharing!
So true Julie, I know without the shadows of the past and hurts I would not be who I am today, I too took on the Little Mother role at a young age… It stood me in good stead… May we all be like the caterpillar and Transform and learn to fly… 🙂
Enjoy your week…
Thank you Sue, sister butterfly! 🙂
Beautifully penned the harsh truth of life.
Thank you! Namaste _/l\_
this is beautiful and so very true~