Once upon a time there was a woman who lived in a chrysalis. She was safe there, and the cocoon though small felt comfortable. Besides every time she looked outside of the chrysalis she was sure the others would reject her for being different than them. And then there were the whispers that curled around and snagged her ankles anytime she thought about coming out of her chrysalis. She was hardly aware of the whispers yet she knew they were there. You might ask how could a wispy insubstantial thing such as a whisper hold a woman so firmly? What power could a whisper have?
She never questioned the whispers, she had merely allowed them to discourage her, and in this way they restrained her. Though cold and sharp against her skin, they were not visible and had no substance. From outside the chrysalis others saw the whispers as sinister clouds with dark jabbering mouths. The whispers were so quiet they were almost silent. Almost effortlessly they discouraged her from approaching the mouth of the chrysalis. They agreed with her when she said she would be rejected. They supported her thoughts that she would never be good enough to be a butterfly. They said she was indeed foolish to risk failure, and that the world was a big bad dangerous place. They convinced her that it would do no good to try. They caressed her when she said "I should remain small that way I fit in."
What do you suppose it will take for the woman to change, to risk growing beyond her fears? What does she need to resist the pull and tug of the whispers? Taking the first step out of her chrysalis is an act of heroism, a leap into freedom. She risks failure in plain view of those who wait on the sidelines safe in their cocoons. Does she dare to be thought foolish or crazy, when these ideas can start an avalanche of fears? What do you imagine she would need to emerge from her chrysalis? What will give her strength to face her fears and take a chance on a new life?
What do you do to grow beyond your fears? What do you do to resist the pull and tug of the whispers in your mind? What are the whispers that ensnare your self esteem? How does your story go? Share your responses, so the story can continue.
Holly Austin Grimes: "You DO realize that the butterfly CHEWS her way out of the cocoon, initially, right?..."
Thank you God for this amazing day, for the leaping greenly spirit of trees, and for the blue dream of sky, and for everything which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes.
Eve woke up one morning and looked out the chrysalis, and heard the crow calling again. She looked around the intimate and confining space and somehow she found a very small spark of courage inside herself. The memories of who she was before she crawled into the space were becoming more vivid. Eve remembered her parents loving her before they disappeared. She remembered their beautiful faces, and amazing wings. Eve heard the call of the crow as her parents voices encouraging her to change, to not be afraid of being wholly herself.
Eve heard the infinite which is Yes. That was her first step.
Her daydreams became vivid, filled with beings who flew. She would be startled from her imaginings with the crow calling her name. "Eve you were meant to be so much more. You were meant to be brilliant. Come out and play with me." Eve's heart would beat a little faster and she would wonder just a little bit more. Could she do this, could she change? And again the whispers would slither out from their shadowy niches and coil around her once again. But perhaps this time they coiled not quite so tight. There was a little breathing room Eve claimed for her own.
Eve heard the crow talking again. The crow had much to say, and now Eve was willing to listen. That was her second step.
When that whisper of fear talks to her, does she still walk through it -- go through the fear and face it? Will she notice that once she faces the fear and gets through it, the fear is always changed? Will she know that when she backs away from her fears and stays in her chrysalis that the fears don't go away so easily? What do you think Eve does next? Does she have help to develop her faith? Does she find tools to build her courage?
We practice courage in small steps. We can’t change everything. We can only change one, small thing. And that’s all it takes.
How does Eve's story remind you of your story? What small step will you take today to face your fears? Tell me story and I will use it in my blog.
One morning Eve was twitching and itchy looking out of the chrysalis. She was surprised by the sight of a bent over woman dressed in wildly colored but shabby clothes slowly making her way to the chrysalis. At first Eve heard the woman muttering to herself and could not make out the words. Then Eve clearly heard, "Waste of Time I say! Just a waste of time!" As the woman came closer Eve saw that the woman's face was wizened like a dried apple, her hair was frizzy and grey. "What are you looking at?", shouted the woman. Eve jumped back startled. Eve could hear her friend the crow calling, and it seemed as if the woman was conversing with the crow. Eve cautiously crept back out again.
Eve heard again, "I tell you it's a waste of time!" and then Eve heard, "She will never come out of that chrysalis." The crow seemed to be persistent and won what sounded like an argument. The crone turned to Eve. She straightened up, looked Eve right in the eye, and demanded, "What do you get out of staying in that chrysalis?" Like a fish out of water, Eve sputtered, fluttered and gasped. The crone repeated herself, "What do you get by staying in that chrysalis?" At first Eve did not know how to answer this woman, she knew her fears kept her there. But what did she get out of allowing her fears to keep her there? Eve felt the shadows gather and climb onto her shoulders as an inky black cloak. Eve was dumb with shock, and then the spark of faith agitated in her solar plexus. Eve remembered the infinite which is Yes. Eve shook back her shoulders and was able to say, "I do want more".
Now it was the crones turn to seem to be shocked, "She speaks! She actually speaks! She even asks for more!" The crow was positively dancing on her branch, nodding her head vigorously, and crowing loudly. The crone turned to Eve, and slowly said, "Okay." She reached inside the bundle of raggedy clothes she wore and pulled out a short dark colored stick. As the crone offered the stick to Eve, the stick crackled and sparked with lightning. The crone hooted, "Grasp this if you dare!" The stick definitely looked scary, however there was a new part of Eve emerging, a part that was angry at this strange woman. Eve wasn't sure she had ever felt anger before. With this new energy she was feeling Eve grabbed for the stick. The lightning met Eve's hand and surged up Eve's arm. Eve felt herself smiling and then a new sound emerged out of her mouth. Eve laughed in delight!
As Eve laughed the crone and crow laughed with her. The more Eve laughed the more the lightning rocked and rolled around her body. The more the lightning danced around her body, the more alive Eve felt. The more alive Eve felt the more she heard the shadows rumble around her. Eve turned back to the crone who had transformed into a dark angel with gleaming black wings whose face was awesome to behold. Laughing she said to Eve, "Are you ready to rumble back?" With her solar plexus echoing "Yes", and the lightning stick in her hand Eve felt like she could do anything. Eve turned to face her fears...
Where does it say that Angels are always beautiful, kind, and ethereal? Angels take human form. Our true friends emerge as the angels we need in that exact moment. Though they frequently come in the guise of random kindness, angels also appear as teachers whether we have consciously wished for them or not. They ruffle our feathers, turn us out of our nests, challenge us to fly whether we think we are ready. Even when the angels challenge feels like fingernails on the blackboard, they always spark our faith in something greater than ourselves. Who are the strange angels in your life? Who has been the fingernails on your blackboard? What was the lesson in grace you learned from them? When you share your stories they become part of Eve's story.
"The big question is whether you are going to be able to say a hearty yes to your adventure!" ~ Joseph Campbell ♥