"To Kat... Who believes in the Butterfly... Always... "
I wanted to share with everyone why this book means so much to me. Quite simply, it came into my life when I was indeed an ugly little caterpillar. Or, at least that is how I saw myself. Having grown up in difficult circumstances, life had always been a struggle for me. At age 16 I was unsure of the future, believed I didn't have so much to look forward too and was definitely struggling with the most difficult question of all... "Who am I?". This beautiful and empowering story touched me and inspired me to cling to the word hope. It showed me the value of love and the importance of sharing love to those around me. It showed me the importance of taking time to actually SEE those around us and let them know how much they are valued. This book also forced me to reflect on how much time we spend rushing towards things, instead of relishing in the beauty of what we have right in front of us all of the time. It is also a book that taught me the value of choices and that with every choice there are consequences. But, most importantly it is a book that taught me that faith does not come easy. To truly have faith takes great courage.
Little Stripe the caterpillar struggled with his existence and was in search of something greater than the life he had. It wasn't until he had climbed until he was exhausted and put his faith to the test to follow true love and friendship that he finally found his true path. It wasn't until he had the courage to follow his heart that he finally was able to discover his true self. He found out he was more beautiful than he could ever imagine and that all of the things he wanted had always been there for the taking... all he had to do was have the courage and faith to change.
"How does one become a butterfly?"... "You must want to fly so much that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar."
I think that all of us can relate to this quote. All of us have made mistakes, have walked down the wrong paths and have hurt people that we love. The key though is not to dwell on the mistakes, but to learn from them so that you can make your next step in life with wisdom. In order to become the butterfly, you must have faith in yourself that you can achieve great things. You also have to have courage to change and face the unknown that lies ahead.
I've always tried to teach my children that if you are not happy with the path you are walking on then change paths. You may have to change paths over and over and over, but one day you will find where you truly belong. Don't let fear stop you from taking that leap of faith into the unknown. Fear can be a debilitating emotion. Fear keeps us where we are... even when we don't like where we are... which can be frustrating. It takes courage to change our paths and it is the only way we can create change in ourselves.
As a caterpillar, we are limited... as a butterfly, we can go to places caterpillars can only dream of going... that is the power of transformation. Butterflies are able to spread the seeds of love so that the flowers can grow. Without the butterfly, love will cease and so will the flowers.
This little book of hope taught me so much at a time in my life when I needed it most. Now that I'm older, I've come to realize that so many of my core values came from the hidden messages I learned from the beautiful but simply told story of a caterpillars struggle with the meaning of life. I have come to learn that there are a million paths that all of us can take in this life, but none of them mean anything without love. Love is powerful, it heals, it strengthens and it makes us beautiful even when we think we are not.
To believe in the Butterfly is to believe in the power of love... and, that my friends is the secret to success in life.
I would like to extend my deepest gratitude to my fellow XOXperts for sending me this beautiful reminder of who I am. I sat this morning and read this book very slowly and carefully and thinking what a shame it had been several decades since I had picked up this story last... and, I cried. I cried because hope is something that can be very hard to hold onto when you are faced with an uncertain future. I cried because faith is something I have been struggling with since my diagnosis. I also cried in gratitude that I was able to find my way back to the values that I've always held so dear despite my desire to cave into despair. I cried because I have been able to find the courage to still move forward in my life, to spread love wherever I can, and to continue to have faith that things can still be beautiful even if they appear ugly. But, most of all, I cried because it is because of the people like yourselves who have taken time out of their busy lives to show me love that I have had the strength to do the same.
See... love is powerful... :)
I'm going to keep the lovely blanket you guys sent to me on my favorite chair as a reminder that hope is still within my reach. I only need to occasionally change my path in order to find it!
Now... all of you reading this... here is what I want from you...
Go forth... and... Believe in the Butterfly!
Visit Trina Paulus on her lovely WEBSITE for more information on how this book came to be written!