The last two afternoons a beautiful Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly has danced by me while watering my garden. Yesterday, I was filled with a sense of joy, imagining that this beautiful butterfly came by just for me: gifting my eyes with its gentle freedom and beauty. As it danced away, I went back to my plants and forgot about my encounter. Today however, I experienced a sense of blessing and wonder, as we were graced to cross paths again. And thus, I let my gaze linger longer and watched this beautiful creature dance across the open air, moving around freely. And as I watched, I noticed the way the butterfly soars with joy. It fluttered from here to there, and wandered wherever it chose to go. There was nothing stopping the butterfly’s movements. In some ways the way it fluttered by, seemed almost unintentional, as though the butterfly was filled with joy and just absolutely embracing its freedom to fly.
This image of the butterfly embracing its freedom delighted my spirit, and thus, opened my heart to looking deeper into the gift of this image and how it speaks to life. Butterflies are often associated with the symbolism of change. Because of their wonderful metamorphosis from a caterpillar walking along eating leaves, to a beautiful creature who opens its wings to fly, change is the perfect symbol. This second encounter wasn’t just by chance. As I watched this butterfly, my thoughts and feelings began to open and I began to understand that the butterfly’s dance was a way the Divine was inviting me learn.
Life has been bringing with it experiences I, and others, haven’t really chosen to learn from. In the last few months I have had a few different friends who have been going through difficult and unexpected change in their lives, and I also have been recovering from loss and change. And grief is very deeply rooted in all these life experiences. Yet, as the butterfly invites us to discover: one form of dying may lead to another form of living. And although it may be a way of living that we have no road map for, we can still discover delight, beauty and hope in spite of this change.
I imagine sometimes that the caterpillar has no way of knowing that she will become a butterfly. And as her daily life goes on, she knows she must eat, and then somehow within her, she knows to make a chrysalis, and then she transforms into her freedom of flight. And when this gift of flight occurs she is frightened and unsure of her new wings, maybe she is even saddened by the change in her body, but then she opens them and begins to fly, and this change opens her eyes to new discoveries and blessings.
So we too can be like this beautiful butterfly, unsure and feeling saddened by the way our life has transformed, but as we begin to take the next step, say the next word, breathe another breath, we can begin to discover our new path may bring with it new beginnings, and healing. This acceptance of change though comes in time, and for each of us when this time comes may be different. Additionally, we have to be open within ourselves to see the gift in the road ahead of us, because despair and negativity can also keep us stuck where we are. This gift of discovering new ways to be free within ourselves is also a process of healing after the grief. Each time we allow ourselves to awaken to a new day and live after the change is taking a step towards healing, a step towards dancing again, signing again, feeling like you again, etc. And maybe one day like the butterfly you will again feel deep within the joy of being you, and experiencing your life as gift. And maybe like the butterfly, your story, your presence with someone, will also invite them to begin to heal, because they will witness how you have also learned to soar even with all you’ve been through.
Blessings to you as you begin to soar!
Blessings, Erin, Bella Bleue
© 2013. Bella Bleue Healing™ All Rights Reserved.
Please also visit my photography site: Photography by Bella Bleue.
See my Facebook page for daily inspirations and messages.