The topic of transformation, metamorphosis, growth, change, (insert whatever word works for your personal journey) has been front and center for me lately. Most of us want to grow and change. It’s hard; no one said it was going to be easy. But rarely do people talk about the absolute pain one feels when emotional wounds get ripped open in order to process, heal and grow.
It’s a lonely journey because no one else can go inside of you and heal those wounds or take away the rawness. You have to be the one to walk through it.
However, it certainly doesn’t have to be an “alone” journey. We can find therapists, support groups, friends, family, books, even blogs so we are surrounded by the support we need. In fact, I think it’s imperative to find people who absolutely “get it” and can relate with empathy when we are in the process of transforming, and becoming the person we want to be.
It doesn’t have to be a shattered past that motivates a person to grow and change. Growth and change are important to continue to do for the rest of our lives. Some people may find themselves at a spiritual crossroads, others may find themselves feeling empty after dedicating years to a career, and some people are simply unable to feel content, knowing that there is some road not yet taken that is calling for them to explore. Whatever the motivation, the transformation to a new way of being from the inside can be painful and sometimes scary.
I have said to a few people, that I believe if we could interview a caterpillar as they transform into a butterfly and ask them, how it feels, they would tell us it is excruciatingly painful. They are completely changing from the inside out. The end result is beautiful; Butterflies are beautiful!
I knew what I had to do in order to heal the wounds of my past. I knew what I wanted my internal life to look like, and I made a commitment to myself that I was going to do whatever it took to heal; continue healing. But I wasn’t prepared for the loneliness of the journey. Now I understand that without self-compassion, acceptance, and support it would be impossible to continue healing and growing.
When I feel that pain of loneliness, I remember why I chose to face the past, process what happened, understand my PTSD, find others who are also on a healing journey, and remind myself, the metamorphosis of a personal legend begins when you accept who you were, who you are now, and who you will be.
Image from the collaboration: Of Earth and Sky by Alexis Rose, photographer: Shelley Bauer
Thank you for reading my books: If I Could Tell You How It Feels, and Untangled, A Story of Resilience, Courage, and Triumph