I want out of my life. This must be how my mom felt when she left our family 40 years ago. Work that once felt exciting and challenging now feels disappointing and frustrating. A social life that was once filled with close friends, people who shared similar values, and a sense of community, has been whittled away by distance, the realities of work life, and the constraints of child rearing. A home that was once filled with loving family time has become a place where four people live together with family time directed at coordinating schedules and household chores.
My life is not bad. In fact, I know that I am incredibly lucky. My kids are healthy, well-adjusted, and happy. We are reasonably comfortable financially. But there is an emptiness in my life. I am in the time in-between; a time of losses and endings. Children, who consumed my life for the last 20 years, are leaving. Family time, as we have known it, is disappearing. I am in the void; still tied to an old life that is dying but not quite ready for the new life that will follow.
Family and friends who have beaten the path before me assure me that there is life after children; that there is freedom from schedules; time for exercising, holidays and friends; time for one’s self. Things I have been longing for, and fantasizing about, for 20 years.
But, some days, all I can see is the void.
Oh, boy–do I know this feeling! We mothers are such complicated creatures!
A beautiful black and yellow Monarch butterfly came to me yesterday and I read about its message in a book, Animal Speak by Ted Andrews. I believe the butterfly’s message is for you, too.
“Biologically and physiologically, humans recognize that there are changes—childhood, puberty, adulthood. Change is necessary. Everything we create in life has to go through stages. These align with the four stages of butterfly metamorphosis. All ideas and creations begin as eggs. The eggs hatch into caterpillars which feed and spin cocoons. From a cocoon comes its final expression of life, the butterfly with wings to fly.
“In the egg state, there is the fertilizing process. We give birth—to an idea, an activity, something. From the egg stage comes the larva, when the egg becomes a caterpillar. The caterpillar feeds and works to strengthen itself and build its foundation. Ideas and creativity need to be worked with, shaped, formed, developed and honed. When this is accomplished, when the foundation is laid, the stage of the chrysalis begins.
“Inside the cocoon there is a reorganization of the caterpillar’s cells even though there is the appearance of lifelessness. Sometimes individuals need to back off after laying a foundation, and then go deeply within so the creation will be able to come forth strong and in new light. There are points in the creative process where we must be passive and let things take a natural course. We do what we must, and let it move on its own.
“From the chrysalis comes a new and final form—a winged insect. Having wings is significant. The adult comes out of the cocoon in the warmth of spring, the right time for its higher level of life. Wings are the symbol of the adult, thus the adult creation. Flight becomes the way of life.”
We are in the “appearance of lifelessness stage.” We are diving deeply and when our Spring comes, we will push out of our cocoons and “come forth strong and in new light.” This is OUR time.
Blessings, many of them, to you, KP
Dear Pam….It is so good to hear from you again…thank you for sharing this “reading” with me and for the reminder that there will be brighter days ahead for both of us!!! Kp