As usual, I woke this morning reflecting on recent events in my life and what I have learned as a result. Today’s theme was around change and personal growth. I found myself asking those age old often rhetorical questions… What exactly goes on during change? Why is it difficult and seem to happen so slowly? Is there anything I could or would do differently to make it easier and occur quicker? And of course I landed on that common human condition called 20-20 hindsight, “…if I only knew then what I know now.”
I recall an article some years ago by Martha Beck called ‘Growing Wings’ in which she equates human transformation with the metamorphosis of a catapillar to a butterfly. Martha suggests that that people go through 4 phases of metamorphosis at various stages in life and after any major catalyst such as getting or loosing a job, marriage, divorce, having children or when they leave home, etc. And that how one manages these changes depends on the particular phase being experienced; Dissolving, Imagining, Re-forming, and Flying.
I found her explanation of the Dissolving Phase particularly insightful as she describes it as being a “time when we lose our identity and are left temporarily formless: person soup.” Who of us can’t relate to that feeling? I know I can. That feeling where it seems our world as we know it is coming apart; losing all that is known and comfortable. Martha Beck equates it to feeling like what death might be and in a way it is because “it’s the demise of the person you’ve been.” Read full article Here
I am pondering this as I find myself in another period of change in my life. It is not the first, nor do I anticipate it to be the last. Looking back at my past occurances of significant change, I see and am thankful for the gifts realized through overcoming adversity. Even though I sometimes wish it could have been easier, I know it was the difficulty of the experience that resulted in the deep change within. While this involved some letting go – dissolving – of some previously held beliefs, I see it more as an evolution than a metamorphic revolution.
Generally, evolution is defined as the gradual development of something into a more complex and better form. In biology, it is a natural or artificially induced process by which new and different organisms develop as a result of changes in genetic material. Theoretically, it is the proposed process by which all species developed from earlier forms of life through natural selection, i.e. natural variation in the genetic material favoring survival and reproduction to eventually give rise over generations to a population possessing the favorable traits. Metaphorically, personal evolution involves modifications, sometimes small and sometimes large, built upong the foundational fabric of who we are as person to morph into who we are today. As for who we will be in the future, this depends on the selection of choices made in response to given stimulus – positive and negative.