Growing Butterfly Wings is Slow, Hard Work

I always take a little longer than the average Jane to get the full picture, to see the reality. I tend to have a rosy view of the world around me, my eyes like to skip past ugliness and prefer to dwell in beauty. My heart looks for the best in people, even when I’ve been disappointed by them once or a half dozen times.

And now, I have to admit, that somewhat delightful, child-like quality is really starting to get on my nerves. . .but in a good way. It’s time to change the bad habits of blind trust and innocence into good habits of forgiveness — forgiveness of self and of others — and wisdom in love. I don’t expect this to be easy, it’s going to take some practice.

In Day 13 of the Catalysts for Change e-course we were asked to Rehearse the Truth. Day 13, by the way, was supposed to take place on January 18. Yes, I’m a little slower than the average Jane, but I’m taking it slow and steady because this is important and, like I said, growing butterfly wings is slow, labor-intensive work.

“Often we have to rehearse the truth until we find the courage to live it. In this, repetition is not failure, but the heart’s way to learn how to be in the world.” —Mark Nepo, Facing the Lion, Being the Lion

In this day’s lesson we were given a poem to read. Sounds easy, right? Ha! This poem knocked me to the floor for days.

We were asked to read through the poem slowly, several times (to rehearse the truth), replacing the “deep hole in the sidewalk” with our own personal challenge.

Autobiography in Five Short Chapters
by Portia Nelson

I walk, down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in
I am lost . . . I am helpless.
It isn’t my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don’t see it.
I fall in again.
I can’t believe I am in the same place.
But, it isn’t my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall in . . . it’s a habit.
My eyes are open.
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

I walk down another street.

My “deep hole in the sidewalk” has left a deep hole in my heart. Caterpillar Kim was hoping that “he” would one day fill that deep hole in my heart with the love I so craved. Soon-to-be-Butterfly Kim knows that that hole is my own responsibility.

It’s a tough lesson, to be sure, but growing butterfly wings is slow, hard work, and I have nothing but time here in my cocoon.


~ by Kimberly Mason on February 1, 2010.

2 Responses to “Growing Butterfly Wings is Slow, Hard Work”

  1. I’ve read that poem before. I should keep it in my head because I don’t always remember it when it could most benefit me.

    Now I’ve subscribed to a THIRD blog of yours 🙂 I like One Year Here very much…

    And, you know, I am such an impatient person. I don’t know if I could wait to grow wings. But I’ll watch you and learn.

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