Metamorphosis

Metamorphosis : a major change in the appearance or character of someone or something; a process some animals go through to become adults. It is a series of physical changes.

The process of metamorphosis has amazed me since I was a young girl. Especially that of caterpillars transforming into butterflies. It seemed to be like a miracle. How a little creature that was not much to look at, emerged as a delicate, beautiful butterfly. I can now appreciate the changes it has to go through and just had to share them, because they are nothing short of amazing.

The caterpillar is born with a voracious appetite and stuffs itself with leaves. It grows plumper and longer through a series of molts in which it sheds its skin. Until one day, it stops eating, hangs upside down from a twig or leaf and molts into a shiny chrysalis. Within its protective casing, the caterpillar transforms its body, and eventually emerges as a butterfly. How does a caterpillar rearrange itself into a butterfly? What happens inside a chrysalis?

First, the caterpillar digests itself, releasing enzymes to dissolve all of its tissues. But the contents of the pupa are not a liquid mess. It has a group of highly organized cells, known as imaginal discs, that survive the digestive process. When a caterpillar is still developing inside its egg, it grows an imaginal disc for each of the adult body parts it will need as a mature butterfly; discs for its eyes, for its wings, its legs and so on. Once a caterpillar has disintegrated all of its tissues, the imaginal discs use the protein-rich liquid all around them to fuel the rapid cell division required to form its adult body.

Then comes the day when it emerges from its chrysalis. Another struggle to endure, but quite necessary for its survival. It spends the next hour, hour and a half, pumping fluid into its wings and when they’re dry it’s ready to take flight!

We go through many struggles throughout our lives. Some harder than others, but no one on this planet escapes suffering. It’s a given that if you breathe, you’re gonna suffer. How is it going to affect you? Will it help you grow stronger or will it defeat you? Are you gonna fight the inevitable changes we have to go through, or take advantage of them and learn? I can’t imagine this little creature protesting that it wants to remain a caterpillar! (Yes, that sounds ridiculous) Yet we humans do it all too often. Either because we’re in a comfort zone, too afraid of the process of maturing, committing or letting go.

We need to shed the fear (the unhealthy) that keeps us from growing. Much like that caterpillar molts and continues to grow, until finally it’s ready to become an adult. And if there’s one thing you remember from what I’ve shared I hope it’s this: that seemingly weak creature, instinctively submits to becoming liquefied, and rearranged into something beautiful, and so will you!

Love you guys ; )

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Self Esteem

Self-love, self-respect, self-worth. There is a reason they all start with “self”. You cannot find them in anyone else.

-?

I found this quote a few weeks ago, and I liked it so much I had to share it. I would’ve added self-esteem in there, but then I looked up the meaning and all of these “self” words fall under that definition. So basically, self-love, self-respect, and self-worth are the sum of self esteem.

Why is self-esteem so important? I once heard it compared to your skeletal frame. Without it we would be a blob on the floor. Having muscles would be useless unless we have bones they’re attached to. Self esteem helps us to prop ourselves up. Much like our bones keep the frame of our body up. It helps us to know ourselves; our likes and dislikes, and where we stand when it comes to our beliefs. When we’re insecure and don’t like ourselves, it is so easy to look to others to tell us what to like and dislike, and what to believe and not believe. We do this without question and with the fear of their disapproval.

When you have a healthy love for yourself good self esteem follows. You don’t dread making decisions. You’re not afraid of asking questions or making mistakes. You know your limitations and you’re not afraid to ask for help. When discipline is needed and given; you don’t let it bring you down. You allow it to help you improve yourself. You take responsibility for your actions and don’t blame others. You don’t set high expectations on people, but are realistic. Instead of criticizing others you encourage them. You never stop growing and maturing emotionally. You set healthy boundaries that protect you and respect the boundaries of others. Overall good self esteem makes you an enjoyable person to be around. You ooze positivity that makes others feel good.

So what’s the opposite? People with low self esteem are very negative. They use criticism and sarcasm to feel better about themselves. They dread making decisions and asking for help. They don’t benefit from discipline because they lay the blame somewhere else, instead of taking responsibility for their actions. They dislike making mistakes so they often don’t try new things. They’re emotionally immature (you’re the one with the problem, not them, so why do they need to change?). They have no boundaries, and they don’t respect other peoples’ boundaries either. This kind of person zaps your energy and may leave you feeling negative too if you’re not emotionally strong.

Personally speaking (my humble opinion), I think that the building block to a healthy self-esteem is honesty. Being honest with yourself. There’s a lot of denial going on with low self-esteem. The rest will follow, but never try fooling or lying to yourself. The mental turmoil will only contribute to the problem. When you’re at peace with who you are, not how you stack up against someone else, you can begin building yourself up. Let’s connect one bone at a time until finally we can stand up straight, without feeling ashamed of who we are; and help others do the same. ; )

Love you guys

A Good Actress

A few weeks ago a friend and I had a part. She thought I did a good job and afterwards told me, “you’re a good actress”! I took it as a compliment and we had a laugh about my performance. I thanked her for the observation and that pretty much should’ve been the end of it. Instead, I kept recalling the words, ‘a good actress’. This led me to do some further self reflection, and helped me get to know and understand myself a little more.

In past posts’, I’ve touched on how when I felt sad or upset, I put up a false front and pretended that I was fine. The last thing I wanted was to upset others. So I would put on an act. This wasn’t new to me. I became an actress at a young age. Since I can remember, what I wanted most was to make others happy, or at least keep them from becoming mad at me. I was therefore praised for being a good child. But unfortunately, it made me the perfect target for sexual predators and added to my acting ability, because I also became a liar. The lies hid the shame, because as long as no one knew, I could walk around like I was normal. I also created in my mind the perfect family. It was my escape. There I could pretend my dad was a great father, who worked to provide for his family, and made us feel safe and loved. Sometimes I was an only child (sorry guys, only for pretend). At other times we all lived together in a dream house. There was no limit in my imagination. Reality for me, was too painful to remain there. So I lived in this fantasy world. You could describe me then, as a day dreamer, who preferred nothing more than to take on the role of another person, than be herself.

So here I am 30 plus years later, and I’m just grasping the scope of what I did to make things appear “normal”. I no longer want to be that actress, or dreamer. It’s kept me from forming meaningful relationships. Now I understand one of the reasons why. (Confession time!) For years now, I’ve been highly aware that I can make a good first impression, but I couldn’t understand why I dreaded seeing people again after the initial meeting. It wasn’t because I didn’t like them. It had to do with fear. I was afraid they’d see past my cheerful character and see the real me. The withdrawn, insecure, moody, irritable, negative, unreliable and fearful me. I reasoned that what they had enjoyed was my performance, because my true self was kept hidden.

My journey has a renewed, conscious effort to be genuine. Especially after studying an article this past weekend. Doing some research, I looked up the word “hypocrite”, and I was shocked. In Latin and Greek, hypocrite, means stage actor, or actor. Now the word “actress”, has taken on a new meaning. Is that what I’ve been all along, a hypocrite? Yes, I have. The old me would’ve let this fact sink me further into depression. Instead, I’m choosing to view this as an opportunity to correct what perhaps in a few years, would be too late for me to change. Life is too short to waste opportunities to improve ourselves.

Yes, it’s time to retire that actress! I refuse to hide behind her anymore.

Love you guys ; )