She was a caterpillar, colourful and spiky. She was only born with some of her spikes and colours.

As she interacted with other caterpillar’s she absorbed some of their colours. Those colour’s would stain her for different lengths of time.

Sometimes the other caterpillar’s around her hurt her with their own spikes. The wound’s would try to heal and they developed into spikes.

The other caterpillar’s would also help her train her spikes; cutting, filing, ripping, sharpening, etc

She was not aware that her ever changing colours and spikes were the nature of being a caterpillar – the more she tried to suppress it the more spikes grew on her.

As her awareness grew about herself she noticed more of her spikes and colours. Some of them she liked, some of them she disliked.

She realised that sometimes her spikes had hurt other caterpillar’s and her colours had stained them too.

She did not grow up around many butterflies and for a long time did not even know of their existence.

When she first found out about butterflies she did not believe that she could become one but she did want change. Some of her spikes were restrictive and painful. Some of her colours were not how she wanted to be seen.

Frantically, she set about trying to find help:

  • She tried to take on other caterpillar’s colours that she liked but this was not enough and they did not stain for long.
  • She tried to find a caterpillar to protect her so that she could remove some of her spikes without exposing too much of her vulnerabilities. This did not work because it dulled her own colours too much.
  • Some caterpillar’s tried to encourage her to remove some of the spikes, gently and slowly, and surround herself with less spiky caterpillar’s, she tried sometimes but she found this scary and kept running away. She did not want to be seen as a weak caterpillar.

Through that process she started to believe that maybe she could become a butterfly one day.

She found herself around some butterflies. She wanted to be like them and hoped they could transform her. But this could not work either because she was not them.

She wanted to become a butterfly, even though she didn’t know how. She didn’t always like the suggestions from the butterflies of how to transform because it sounded uncomfortable and scary.

Eventually, she realised that no one could transform her except herself. She became more open to the lessons from the butterflies. She accepted that the process was going to take time and that it was going to be difficult.

She started to build herself a cocoon, a safe place in which she could take off her spikes and allow the underlying wounds to heal. A place in which she could look at her colours and see which ones she wanted to enhance and which ones she wanted to fade.

She’s still there, in her cocoon….sometimes the process is painful and she’s tempted to give up and go back to being a spiky, colourful caterpillar.

But she stays in there, because she knows that deep down inside every caterpillar is the potential to become a butterfly.

One day she will get there.

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