Courage and Butterflies

by Alan McAllister, CCHt PhD-phys

Blue butterfly

Sitting at breakfast on the porch it’s a beautiful fall day. The clear blue sky is decorated with strands of white clouds drifting east from the mountains. The sun is warming up the early morning chill, but riding lower in the southern sky after Equinox, it has lost the fire and heat of summer. Bees hover around the sage and other remaining flowers in the garden. I am relaxing with my blessed beloved, sharing great food that we made together.

While I am enjoying this beauty and love, my mind is turning over writing this newsletter and some class blurbs that I also want to do today. It is raising currents of resistance. Noticing these, I realize that a large lump of fragile agitation and fear, the sort that comes from infancy or early childhood, is taking form in the middle of my body. This must be another aspect of my old core belief that holds I am somehow “not enough”. It has variants and shades, but the theme is the same. Somehow things won’t work out because of some lack in myself.

Things arise in our space when they are ready to release and clear. Often they have layers of fear embedded in them, along with other emotions that we are resistant to revisiting. It may be that these issues are new and unfamiliar, or that they have showed up so often that we have given up trying to deal with them. It takes courage to stay present when the old things arise. It takes presence and a touch of grace to remember that these are not who we are, no matter how long they have been around.

The belief that something is lacking feeds a spectrum of solutions, variations on the idea that if I am, or have, more of something then things will be ok. That something could be ideas and knowledge, in my head or in books that I own. It might be experiences, or friends, employees or money. It might be music, movies, or food. It can be physical, mental, emotional or spiritual. But more of something is needed. Before I take a next step, write a new piece, or plan a class, I have to know more, be more, then perhaps it will go well. And perhaps the fear will leave.

There is nothing wrong with learning, reading, traveling, experiencing, or any of the rest. However, as long as the “not enough” refrain is playing there will never be enough. This refrain is emotional, not mental, and it’s always relative to today, as long as the embedded fear and sense of powerlessness is present, the refrain will play. In truth we are always enough. Sometimes preparation is helpful, and we do have to learn, organize, or build. But this is not what usually stops us. We can do things in spite of the fear and doubt, but it is easier and more graceful without that weight and resistance.

In my chest, it feels like I’m birthing a large goopy slug like thing out of my third chakra. It’s nasty to look at and feels about as pleasant as it looks. I reach inside myself for the love and compassion, the gentle strength and protective masculinity that I hold for clients, for friends, that I’ve been holding for my beloved earlier this morning. I am all that too. I call in a blessing for the things that are surfacing. I know that it is better to birth it and let it go, that as nasty and emotionally painful as it seems at the moment I will be better off not holding onto it.

I sit in the sunshine just being present with the blob. My beloved sits with me, offering her love and presence. We go on with our conversation. Soon I notice the blob is gradually unfolding. As it opens, it is cleaning itself off, the way a new born foal is cleaned by its mother. The fear and anguish I feel is fading as this birthing emotional bundle comes to resemble a butterfly coming emerging from its cocoon. Shortly the butterfly rises and flies away. In my being I feel light and joyful.

Feeling like the day around me again, I know that I can write the newsletter, create the class, love my beloved, more clearly and freely than before. This was a significant chunk of an old program, which I have wrestled with for most of my life. Recently I have been inviting it to show up and resolve itself. Inviting it to come out of the shadows of my unconscious and into understanding, to be present with me so I can be present with it. I could mentally force myself to release the old compensating, acquisitional, habits, but until I was ready to reach down underneath, to ask what they have been serving, they are like the Hydra. I would conquer them one by one, only to have them return in some other forms.

I have been through too many “not enough” forms this lifetime. In the end this one resolved fairly gracefully, but the pain has been there a long time and the dance has gone round and round. Some habits or old patterns can release gracefully, effortlessly. Others require courage to be present with an old aspect of self that lurks underneath in fear or sadness or shame. There are no short cuts, but there is support, guidance and grace. At dawn, after the storm, there is joy and freedom. Only when you can welcome the slugs will you receive the butterflies, rebirthing old aspects of self into new forms. Releasing the emotional core of old beliefs you can materialize the life you dream of.

(© 10/2016)

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