Did you know that the longer the butterfly struggles to escape its cocoon the stronger it becomes and the longer it lives?
And if you try to help it by cutting open the cocoon it will die?
I’m not saying we’re like the butterfly and need to struggle to become our most authentic selves, we probably did that at birth. We probably did stop and pant for awhile, as did our mother, but since she was a in a big hurry to get us out of there, we persevered—and made it out alive.
The caterpillar that goes into the cocoon never makes it out alive.
In the cocoon it becomes liquid. It has a total meltdown, and becomes glop.
Joseph Campbell said, “You must give up the life you planned in order to have the life that is waiting for you.”
That’s the analogy of the butterfly.
I didn’t know about the butterfly’s struggles until I read Martha Beck’s book, Steering by Starlight. Oh, I’ve seen pictures of a butterfly crawling out of a cocoon. I’ve seen it stop and rest, then unfurl those delicate wings and pump them up and down to get blood circulating or to dry them, but I didn’t know that struggle made them live longer.
Martha Beck sent me on the Star trail I spoke about in the last blog. There I said that our star is our DESTINY, our LIFE PURPOSE, our DREAM.
Learning to Live Backward
This was my most amazing Ah ha moment in Beck’s book.
You know how we’ve talked about “Neurons that fire together wire together?” That means that we form paths in our nervous systems from experiences we’re had. The term used now is that they become “hardwired.”
We weren’t born with negative feelings, yet many of our pathways have been built on negatives. We start life with only two fears, fear of loud noises and fear of falling. All others are learned.
Remember what John Kennedy said about our problems. “They were made my man, and therefore can be solved by man.” The same can be said of our hardwiring system. It can be rewired.
The learning that has made us depressed, anxious, and old can be relearned. The brain can drop its fears and age backward toward its nearly fearless original state. (Protect your ears from loud noises and stay back from cliffs—but then rock climbers are pushing their limits.)
Beck made a fascinating observation regarding extreme sports such as rock climbing. They cause the individual to be so focused that their brain drops everything except the job at hand. If you’ve ever gotten into a fender-bender or worse, at that moment you’re not worrying about your finances. That wiring was, at the moment, either by passed by or broken.
This brings me to my Ah Ha moment.
In traditional cultures living backward is common of “magical” people such as Shaman, medicine women, and witch doctors. Anthropologists call these people “contrarians.”
Here’s the point: Most people talk of the terrible things that have happened to them. They tell of how they were done wrong, bullied, molested, etc. They recount these events until over time they are “hardwired” from all the focus on them, the telling, remembering, and recycling.
But, if you look at something wonderful that is going on in your life right now, you know something happened before that wonderful thing happened. What if you do have your dream.? What if you do have the success you worked so hard to achieve? The thing before had to happen before you got it. And thinking back, the thing before that thing had to happen, and back and back until you get back to the horrible event, and that had to happen too.
I found this to be simply wonderful.
A gift from the bird:
Those who have read my peacock story know that the peacock is my totem animal. And look what our neighborhood peacock voluntarily dropped in our backyard.
(One must never steal a peacock feather from the bird)
Peacock symbolism: Vision, Royalty, Spirituality, Awakening, Guidance, Protection, & Watchfulness. In Greco-Roman mythology the Peacock tail has the “eyes” of the stars. … For this reason the Peacock feather represents immortality, and can absorb negative energies.