Metamorphoses – Life Story in Four Chapters

3 May 2020
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Chapter 1, In Which I am an Egg

            I Am at Peace

            I Am Oblivious to both The Horrors and Happiness of Living ‘Out There’

 

Chapter 2, In Which I Become a Caterpillar

            I Live in Fear

But the Leaves Taste Magical

I Forget My Fear in the Joy of the Moments

 

Chapter 3, In Which I Embrace the Chrysalis Stage

            I Am Hidden, in the Secret Place

            Everything Feels Out of Sorts

            But in Motion

            I Am Transforming from the Inside Out

 

Chapter 4, In Which (Allegedly) I Will Finally Become the Imago

            I’ll Push, Push Free

            I’ll Fly Free

            I’ll Feed... On Nectar

            I’ll Fly High Above My Former Circumstance

            I’ll Find Love

 

I know, what’s that all about?

Weird.

I’m such a fan of metamorphosis.

Just because we humans don’t go through so many very obvious changes as a butterfly or frog or dragonfly doesn’t mean that our own transformations are any less ‘miraculous’.

 

As a child, I was blissfully ignorant of the harsh realities of this world – at least for a few months.  Then I started to crawl.

 

Growing up, my Ugly Caterpillar phase, I spent most of the time in fear, hiding from the bullies – the predators, but there were amazing things too.  For me, it was pond life – an adoration of Newts and Great Diving Beetles, of Sticklebacks and Water Boatmen. In those moments of awe of the Natural World, I forgot all troubles and fears.

 

What captured your imagination growing up?

 

I’ve been in the Chrysalis phase for years. My tummy is constantly churning. It feels like all my organs are finding new places – because they are currently out of place. My inward being is ‘soup’ – mushy.

 

As I slowly sort myself out, I discover that The Way of the Caterpillar with its juvenile tastes, worldview, and limiting beliefs, no longer appeal or suits me. They served me for a while, but that time has long gone.

 

I also uncover a whole ton of non-sense installed in my brain from parents and teachers, media and musings, siblings and peers. None of it invited or asked for or welcome. Turns out none of them was quite the authority on all the subjects they purported to be.

 

In my soup-state, I am learning to rethink, to challenge, to re-invent.

 

I am revolting!

 

Rumour has it there is something beyond this chaos. A time when I can break free and fly.

A time when I can become the best version of ‘me’ I was ‘meant’ to be.

 

Some say there is love out there too. 

 

Me, I’m cynical, sceptical, unbelieving.

 

But maybe, just maybe…

Lex

A Moodscope member.

A Moodscope member.

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Comments

Ophelia

May 4, 2020, 4:32 a.m.

Hi Lex, Thanks for this beautiful blog! It made me start my Monday with a smile, which rarely happens. It led me to ponder on such life phases on mine. I have always thought of them as difficult dark phases when the only thing I could see was suffering. But, perhaps they were my Chrysalis phases and I needed to go through them to reach where I am today. Perhaps humans don't have just one single Chrysalis phase. I feel it keeps coming back, giving us a chance to experience metamorphosis time and again.

Reply

Lex

May 4, 2020, 6:57 a.m.

I am in absolute agreement with your insight, Ophelia. Chrysalis after chrysalis phase... and now with some increased hope! I am so glad you found it beautiful.

Oli

May 4, 2020, 6:02 a.m.

Hi Lex, your blog reminds me of others who’ve had the process of metamorphosis. It’s this idea that we need a new life. My own connection with it goes like this and there are two variations: One is the the feeling I *need* to change. And the second is the feeling that I *want* to change. I’ve hit the first of these more than once; the desperate feeling of “rock bottom” — where you know you have to change in order to survive but you just don’t know how you can actually manage what it takes. I think the second variation looks and feels different. It’s the difference between running away from something you don’t like or moving towards something that you want. From the outside the change might look sudden: “oh he’s stopped drinking/ smoking/ eating poorly/ ruminating ceaselessly/ waiting (for the problem to go).” But from the inside every day is a learning day. How did today feel without doing that thing? What is life like now I no longer do that behaviour but do this one instead? I think that’s where the change takes place. Even if you have the moment of epiphany when you become resolute in your commitment to change you’ve still got to learn what change feels like. Whether it feels good or bad is surprisingly within our control; it always surprises me. Thanks for the blog Lex and good luck with the metamorphosis. I think the caterpillar has no choice but to change; we are different. We have to *do* something different to achieve change. What context makes that possible?

Reply

Lex

May 4, 2020, 7:01 a.m.

Hi Oli, this is my mantra at the moment: Duke Leto Atreides: "I'll miss the sea, but a person needs new experiences. They jar something deep inside, allowing him to grow. Without change something sleeps inside us, and seldom awakens. The sleeper must awaken." (I can almost guarantee you're a fan of "Dune"!)

Oli

May 4, 2020, 7:55 a.m.

Dune is an odd one. Unfortunately I read it when I was way too young to follow it. I didn't really give it a chance. Since then I find I barely read fiction at all. I miss it but I can't find much to hold my attention these days. Your blog initially reminded me of Descartes "Meditations" btw when he feels he has to radically doubt everything he's learned because he realises he can't trust any of it.

Lexi

May 4, 2020, 3:10 p.m.

Oli, your whole second paragraph stopped me in my tracks. How did today feel without doing that thing...That is what I need to hear today, to make the change. It's much more achievable than telling myself to resolutely STOP. Because I won't; I don't have the will power. But this comes more from a place of compassion? Or experiment? That doing something different can be fascinating. Thank you.

greenjean

May 4, 2020, 6:02 a.m.

Hi Lex, what a clever and beautifully descriptive way to use the process of metamorphosis to illustrate your life and all of our lives. Particularly caught my attention as I’ve spent the last couple of days thinking about caterpillars and butterflies and all the amazing stages in between as I consider sending a ‘butterfly farm’ to my grandchildren so they can watch learn and enjoy all the stages and release beautiful butterflies. We can all learn so much from nature.

Reply

Lex

May 4, 2020, 6:59 a.m.

We can, greenjean! Nature is our teacher, nurse, and friend when we treat it with respect. I'd LOVE a butterfly farm. Your grandchildren will be lost in wonder.

Jul

May 4, 2020, 7:15 a.m.

Good morning Lex. We can evolve without too much effort until we reach a certain point in our lives where we know that if we want our lives to change, we have to be more proactive in that change. A wise person said here; it could well have been you Lex, said that we shouldn't expect things to change in our lives if we carry on doing and thinking the same thing day after day. So true. It's not as easy as evolving naturally. Changes have to be made in our thought processes. Radical changes. I know I need to make them but only yesterday I told myself things will improve once so and so happens. Very lazy thoughts so thank you for this reminder Lex. I must revolt! Good blog. Jul xx

Reply

Lex

May 4, 2020, 10:06 a.m.

Hi Jules, I've just had a long and profound conversation with another Jules - a hypnotherapist with such a depth of wisdom. She shared with me the story of a young lad helping a butterfly out of its chrysalis. He merely opened the case a bit to make it easier for the emerging butterfly. When the butterfly succeeded in throwing off its hindrances, it had an unnaturally expanded head and flaccid wings. Whilst I understand that butterflies have to pump up their wings when they emerge, neither I nor the boy knew that it is the struggle out of the chrysalis case that pushes some of the fluid down. I don't think things ended well for the butterfly who had an easier ride... very profound! We are, of course, all struggling now, but that very struggle may be the making of some of us. It would be naive to think it will work out well for all of us, but for some of us, it will produce the beauty, elegance, and maturity of the butterfly.

The Gardener

May 4, 2020, 8:31 a.m.

Thanks Lex, as ever. Don't see my life in your 'stages'. More adaptation to new roles and challenges, farmer to historian huge step, country in UK to town in France another huge step. Then long marriage to widow biggest of all. Aside from lock-down my new 'role' is not working, that is 'talking' shop. People are apathetic. They poured into my garden for years, and admired the flowered facade. But I can't get them INSIDE a building, do they see me as a black widow spider, enticing them into a trap? Got another idea, I will NOT give up, though getting apathetic myself. xx

Reply

Lex

May 4, 2020, 10:08 a.m.

You're certainly a writer, Dear Gardener... maybe it's time to write that tale xx

Orangeblossom

May 4, 2020, 9:09 a.m.

Hi Lex, your blog peaked my interest & I was delighted to read more about you. Hope that you don’t find the crysallis stage too cramping. All good wishes for the rest of the week.

Reply

Lex

May 4, 2020, 10:07 a.m.

Thanks, Orangeblossom! Knowing there is something potentially liberating ahead can help any Chrysalis Day! Have a great week.

Molly

May 4, 2020, 10:36 a.m.

A great blog Lex xx

Reply

Lex

May 4, 2020, 1:56 p.m.

Thanks Molly xx

Lupin

May 4, 2020, 11:03 a.m.

I really enjoyed the blog too. I think though it's not about 'change' but becoming who we are and have been all along. The change comes in dropping the protective casing we create in order to feel safe; the defences, The chrysalis needs its hard protective casing for a while but in order to emerge as the butterfly, it has to shed the old hard container and we do something similar. Shedding seems to me a lot less daunting than changing. Defences are necessarily developed to keep us safe for a while at an earlier stage, but have a tendency to fossilise so they become something of a prison until we recognise just that and break free.

Reply

Lex

May 4, 2020, 1:59 p.m.

That's very profound, dear Lupin. When I first studied Accelerated Learning, I went back to its roots in the work of Bulgarian educationalist, Georgi Lozanov. His disciple was called, "Suggestopaedia." His believe was that we accept all manner of unhelpful suggestions as 'truth' and that it is the role of the teacher to help students let go of these limiting beliefs - or, as in your insight, possibly protective beliefs that have now passed their useful 'use by' date.

Lexi

May 4, 2020, 3:12 p.m.

Love this Lupin. xo

Molly

May 4, 2020, 5:12 p.m.

I like this too Lupin

Jul

May 5, 2020, 7:32 a.m.

I do too Lupin. Jul xx

Cappuccino

May 4, 2020, 11:36 a.m.

Dear Lex, thanks for your blog. Gosh what a lot of food for thought. At the garden centre this morning, I noticed how kind, patient, and friendly everyone was. I came home feeling like I belonged, like I existed in the eyes of the world. Lately I have been feeling closer to nature, and strangely more spiritual. Instead of eating to stay alive, I cook my meals from scratch and love the simple pleasure of it all. I hope this shift remains long after lockdown ends and life goes back to normal, whatever that might be. Best wishes.

Reply

Lex

May 4, 2020, 2:05 p.m.

I hope so too, dear Cappuccino. Having just added fresh chives to the Polish curd cheese I was trying, I agree - it's so satisfying to pour oneself into the preparation - whether simple or complex. I long to have a Polytunnel one day and grow more of my own food all year round!

Lexi

May 4, 2020, 3:15 p.m.

Great blog Lex xo I have loved reading the comments too. Really got me thinking this morning. Lupin's comments reminded me of what my wise therapist is always telling me, that we are all perfect, naturally. That we have to learn this about ourselves. It's like a reversal from listening to the outside to instead listening to ourselves. A life's work and then some but sometimes I feel like it's the only work that matters. xo

Reply

Lex

May 4, 2020, 3:42 p.m.

Hi Lexi, I came across a TED Talk that not only 'spoke' to me but has turned out to be a blessing for those who saw the share on LinkedIn. It's uncomfortable but the outcome is beautiful. I share it here in the hope that you and I and others will find it touches all of us. It's in tune with what you say though in a different key. https://youtu.be/9AgCr2tTvng

Lexi

May 4, 2020, 4:36 p.m.

That was beautiful Lex. I had not seen that before. Thank you for sharing with me xo

Oli

May 4, 2020, 5:28 p.m.

Lex, that was good. Thank you.

Molly

May 4, 2020, 10:12 p.m.

I watched it too, thanks Lex xx

Lex

May 5, 2020, 2:32 p.m.

Glad you all found the TED Talk valuable xx

Ach UK

May 4, 2020, 9:14 p.m.

Lovely positive blog to start the week Lex thank you. Good to hear you looking to positive futures. Thank you for the link to the Ted talk that was uplifting. :--))) XX Ach.

Reply

Lex

May 5, 2020, 2:31 p.m.

It's a moving TED Talk, Ach, isn't it? I've watched it a couple of times now... especially as she encourages us writers. xx

Ach UK

May 5, 2020, 4:43 p.m.

XX Lex :--)))

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