I’m running with an assumption: that we’re all in agreement that butterflies are beautiful and seeing one creates an instant internal fluttering for you in the same way it does for me.
Butterflies have a known life cycle, neatly contained inside of four stages (egg, caterpillar, pupa, butterfly) and you can read about those stages on at least a bazillion* different websites. I am no scientist and I still know that butterflies don’t live for very long** once they’ve reached stage four — the one in which they’ve decidedly left their shell behind and come out as a butterfly.
Every last bit of their seemingly-fragile and dainty feet to their expertly-crafted exoskeletal wings is beautiful, perfect in its imperfections.
Only I don’t see imperfection when I see a butterfly; I see living out loud. I see expression and courage and light. I see my greatest vision of myself.
My gifts and talents aren’t any less beautiful and significant than a butterfly’s wings.
And my life cycle is also marked; I just don’t know how many stages I have or where I am in their progression.
Am I flying while the sun shines, as the butterflies do? Or am I worried about what others will think of my gifts and stay hovering too near my long-ago abandoned shell — that cocoon that once (but no longer) gave me safety to morph into my essential, gorgeous, individual, flawed and wonderful self?
I want to laugh and sing and dance and flutter my way along this path to mastery while my wings still beat. This path of the imperfect me — this is where the fun happens, this is where the real growth occurs, this is where I get to become.
Don’t be selfish. Don’t not fly. Don’t hide yourself away from anyone who might experience instant internal fluttering upon seeing your wings.
Don’t mistake your imperfections for anything but the truth they represent: expressions of your courage, your light, your greatest self.
Beat your wings until the very last rays of the sun go down.
JUST LIVE OUT LOUD.
*may be a slight exaggeration
**4-6 weeks for the average northern monarchs