I stole this from my friend Amy’s blog. Hope she doesn’t mind…

Vision of the Butterfly
By Julia Butterfly Hill
(you know, the girl who lived in Luna the tree!)

I learned to internalize the process of the butterfly, which is all about understanding and letting go of our attachments. A caterpillar has a very comfortable life and grows attached to that comfort. But it’s not truly free, it’s not truly beautiful. Eventually, because it senses that there’s something more not by someone telling it, but by deep intuitive force it lets go of the comfort that keeps it grounded and spins a cocoon around itself. The cocoon comes from within the caterpillar, just as our letting go has to come from within.

The caterpillar encases itself within itself and is forced into this dark, small area, where it can’t be distracted by anything. No longer can the sun or the rain enter its world. It is alone in the darkness, wrapped in what it has spun from inside, and shielded from any distractions.

So it is with us. True transformation occurs only when we can look ourselves squarely and face our attachments and inner demons, free from the buzz of commercial distraction and false social realities. We have to retreat into our own cocoons and come face to face with who we are. We have to run toward our own inner darkness. For only by abandoning its attachments and facing the darkness does the caterpillar’s body begin to spread out and its light, beautiful wings begin to form.

Even then, the caterpillar has to shed one last attachment to the dark, cramped space it has gotten used to, a new form of comfort and begin breaking through the barrier of self in which it has wrapped itself. It doesn’t have a clue, but it responds to the higher calling anyway. This last struggle affects the final transformation. If a human helps the butterfly break through the cocoon, it will never fly. Only by finding the strength to break free of that last attachment can this delicate being, with a body so light and fragile that a breath could seemingly kill it, fly beautiful and free.

Similarly, only once we let go of everything we know, including all our self-centered concerns, and break free of the cocoons we spin around ourselves to shut out the world can we become the truly beautiful beings we were meant to be.

I hate the cocoon stage but I know it’s necessary…plus I can’t wait for the butterfly!