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The Butterfly

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“Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly.”Proverb

When my world looks bleak I ask myself how it can be preparation for the next best thing. How can I see my current circumstances support my best self? Asking these two questions remind that we are either living or dying. Everything is in preparation for the next experience. When I remember that, I embrace change.  This proverb and pictures of butterflies has the magic to pull me out of my worst days for it, too, reminds me that change is good. I can say this now eight years after a divorce that wasn’t particularly fun; but then again, is divorce ever fun? It’s taken just about that long for me to shed my chrysalis and emerge as my own true self. It’s taken just about that long for me to realize that his leaving, while painful at the time, was a huge gift for me. It forced me into huge personal growth for which I will be eternally grateful. I was living in a cocoon of fear disguised as safety. After having moved more times than I can count, having more stepfather’s than I care to remember, and already one failed marriage, all I wanted was the illusion of a settled, happy, married life. Unfortunately for my second ex-husband though, who he fell in love with in 1992 wasn’t a sustainable person for I hadn’t had nearly enough time to live on my own and develop my own constitution, or rather, my own identity. Sure, I was accomplished, smart, and even pretty.

From the outside looking it, it would appear that I did OK, even great, given my chaotic upbringing.  It was just that I used the world as the mirror to tell me who I was, how I should feel, what I should think, rather than look inside and formulate those answers from within. I suspect we all do this in our growing up years. It is how we learn. We look to our parents, our family, then our friends, our school environment, etc…to gauge how closely our outer world matches our inner world. When we start to disagree with what we see, hear, and experience is when we begin to question and come up with our answers and formulate our version of the world as it is. Indeed, our outer world is truly a reflection of our inner world. My inner world was such that I was unlovable for the long haul and as soon as he found out I wasn’t all that and a bag of chips, he would be outta there. So, I said things to confirm I was unlovable, did things to confirm that I was unlovable and after 12 years, he was in fact, outta there. It’s not that I intentionally set out to prove to him that I was unlovable. I was simply trying to get him to reassure me that I was wrong; to convince me that I am lovable and worth it. However, that wasn’t his job and after 12 years he wanted a promotion into a job where he didn’t have to do that.

It was my first connection to the experience of “what we reap is what we sow”, although, I didn’t quite get it at the time. It took about five years of therapy to sort out that simple sentence. Today, I do get it. What we think about turns into how we feel. Our feelings then motivate our actions, and our actions become our reality. It’s a beautiful thing. What I think, feel, say, and do truly creates my reality. And it is all up to me. Talk about feeling empowered over my own destiny.

Today, I’m in a relationship where I know I’m lovable – I don’t need convincing. And wouldn’t you know it; he tells me and shows me all the time just how lovable I am. It is funny how that works. I have a great relationship with my daughter’s father, aka my second ex-husband.  I’ve also left a great career after 25 years to align my work with my passion; a career I know will be great because I absolutely love the art of coaching. I’m planning a two month sojourn to Cambodia in January of 2012 to be a resident leader for The Harpswell Foundation. Even though I dreamed of doing this, fear of financial insecurity kept me from talking about it. However, greater forces were in play. In my daydreaming, I was actually planning for this transition. Then I actually began a conversation with my former employer about making a transition. Before I knew it, I was enrolled in a Coaching certification process and my employment end date was nearing. By thinking about it, I began to feel it, was motivated to take action and today, I am a Professional Development Life Coach.   I was in my own chrysalis stage because I feel like I’ve emerged as a butterfly ready to fly and show off my beautiful brightly colored wings and contribute my gift to the world.

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