Free Spirit

It’s hard to imagine I was waiting for this day¹ to come, or how profound of a change I would feel when it did.

Negative image of butterfly

I had no idea the turmoil and confusion was only to be able to get to this day and emerge from where I have been, ready to get on with where I shall go, and be able to live from this day forth free from the weight of regret and loss and anger, either as I knew in my heart long ago it would never be, or as I never dreamed, and at peace with the difference.

The ancient tribal people believed that each of us had an animal spirit, a totem, which reflected our inner character and gave us a touchstone to fashion our lives after,  to help us find courage and live with it.  I do not know,  in all of their collective traditions and assignments,  if any animal qualified as the representative of our soul or if only a select few,  which best represented the traits we strive to have and the ones we strive to not be, were on a sort of list to which each person was assigned based on their actions and qualities at the time their animal spirit was revealed to them.

Ideally, any living creature that seemed to embody what our soul emulates, should be able to be chosen for a person, and not a person being fit into a set of animals,  limited in that they did not cover all the things any one person could be and therein placing a person, who is not a bear or a turtle or a mighty lion, into an animal spirit which falls short of the mark and limits the ability of those around to see beyond the best fit and the one who isn’t quite the animal assigned, to not grow based on the qualities of who they really identify with in nature.

My totem is the butterfly1-animated-butterfly-3

You think maybe that I have known this, I do chase them after all.  It only means I admire their qualities and appreciate their ability to take me right where I need to be by way of whatever whimsy they choose.

I find their fragility amazingly beautiful as it can withstand so much more than you would think, and yet not offend or be venomous in the pursuit of its survival.

I am even more amazed that they start out as a hungry little worm of a thing, consuming vast amounts to put itself to a place where it completely secluded itself and changes from the hungry caterpillar, to something of such beauty and grace, and carefree go where I will demeanor.

10,000 Butterflies - Jersey Tiger Moths are re...
10,000 Butterflies – Jersey Tiger Moths are resting on an Oriental Sweetgum tree trunk (Photo credit: Axiraa)

I guess it makes sense we are drawn to what our spirit is, content to study its ways, and the being drawn to it before you even know,  makes it all the more likely when it is revealed, to be that which you have held out for consideration for a period of time.

Of course it too is likely we can fashion our truth to fit what we see.. is it not?  Yet, anyone who has done any amount of self-reflection, knows that even though there are different truths to fit all the pieces, there is rarely more than one that fits them all.

If we are honest with ourselves and able to acknowledge our failings and shortcomings, we do not fool ourselves into thinking they do not exist, and in using all the pieces that make up our story and not just the ones we are proud of and never the ones we deny, because its hard to put those in if you don’t admit them

If we grow into ourselves with a well-rounded and honest assessment of who we are, the spirit of our soul is matched to who we show ourselves as and given to us to remind us through the rest of the journey.  If we are given the totem before we show ourselves, then we assume a false sense of who we are and will never be all that we are supposed to, and capable of being.

Then, if we strive for anything. it is for something that never should have defined us in the first place, having been assigned not earned.   If we are striving to be the wrong thing, or can’t admit that we are not the mighty bear, or the courageous lion, or the wise owl, we will never find out true spirit.  Never.

The lies we tell ourselves to protect a truth that was never true in the first place, are sometimes the difference between a life of purpose and meaning, and one of never-ending searching.

Butterfly (Photo credit: TEVR)

I have spent the last two and some years, waiting and searching and wanting, all the while preparing for this day, or week or time.  It seems to matter not anymore what the reason is.

I know, although until recently I would not have known how my life would have this moment as the one in which I revealed myself, to myself and the answers and the reasons and the denials and the truths, all made sense to be getting me right here.  Now.

I thought I let go what this time period meant and logically, I did, but in my heart I hoped, and I think I had to get where I am so that no matter how it turned out, I would be done surviving, existing, barely hanging on, and either with how I was told it would be and newfound confidence in the world working as it is “supposed to” ,  or not and only have to have confidence in me

As a metaphor, it is hard to say if I have been in a cocoon since a life I was terrified of and had no desire to learn how to live was thrust on me and I have been becoming who I am right now ever since, or if in the last few weeks, as the pain of my feelings and the confusion and the questions were becoming so much more than I could bear and I was consuming more than I was contributing, until I finally realized it was time and I took everything I have learned and lived the last two years, put it where it belongs, let go what I don’t need, learned I am brave and although no one wants to be alone, we are very capable of dealing with things and finding help if we can’t figure it out, if we can be totally  aware of what it is we feel.  Knowing why is a bonus.butterflyquote

I have explained myself to the point of being tired of hearing my own shit, suddenly realizing this or that was bs and taking a step back and saying  and trying to re-asses and reconfigure.  That is though what I came here for, to find myself.

As my friend Red says,

It’s the truth, if you don’t like it, change it.

Not change the facts, as in, lie or revise the history, change it as change the things you do and what you believe to reflect the truth you want it to be.  If you don’t like it change it.  If you can’t or don’t want to change it, accept the truth, you will be amazed at how easy it is.

I  have been outside the safety of my cocoon and on a path I was not aiming for.  Back in the world of ..mind and body connectedness I forgot how it felt, if I ever really knew.  Just a little unbalanced still and the thing I must do now is take it all, and find the balance, letting my light shine as I go on,

No longer do I feel the need to explain who I am to anyone.  Look, you will see.  I am not hidden nor a lie.

Butterfly in Cyprus
Butterfly in Cyprus (Photo credit: Mark J Devine)

I am revealed if you care to open your eyes and I am here if you want to find me.  I am no longer worried about where I am going, or who is going with me.

I am who I am, not who anyone thinks I should be and the only person  I have to answer to is myself.  I have learned that I have a very strong inner voice that tells me when something or someone is not right.  If I feel conflict or anxiety, instead of numbing and trying to avoid them, I listen to where they are coming from.  And then I work it through until, I get a sense of relief.

I am not worried about meeting people or being hurt.  I will know who to stay away from, I have proven myself right too many time not to believe I know.  And the people who would hurt me are not as likely to approach, for they target the weak because they are weak, and though I may appear weak by the issues I deal with, I am not at all.

It is when we accept we are damaged, we try to make ourselves whole, if we can not accept we are damaged, we never reach for better…

I accepted finally I was damaged and  I found a way to grow and change and fly.  I had to, to survive.  Or die never trying.

You can not live with self-hatred long before it destroys you, so you change it by becoming who you are meant to be.  When you find a truth you can live with, you then may move on to one you aspire to, and find a truth you never thought possible as you take each step to becoming who you are.

Before this I wandered and wondered and consumed all I could trying to find the answers to being free of the pain and the confusion, and to find where happiness lives and how to court it.  Just as the caterpillar eats anything in its path, so too did  i try everything, and anyone, looking for a fit to define me.

This is not the pinnacle of me, but its one of the best places for me and  possibilities are endless and all seem ok.

I know who  I am,  and what I want my truth to be in the end.  Perfection was never the goal because there is no end until we die.wpid-PicsArt_1356591136436.jpg

Change and growth and truth are the goals and there is not perfection of spirit, only the quest for the spirit itself.

If you follow the flight of a butterfly, it seems to go here and there, willy nill, with no rhyme, reason or planning.  Alighting where it will for however long it must, and then on to the next place to happen upon.  Butterflies migrate and when they are ready to make that journey, they instinctively know where they are to go, and eventually end up where they were meant to be all along.

I will get to where I am going and I no longer worry how, or if the ones who are  meant to be there or with me along the way will show up.  I have learned to feel it, trust it and just be it.

I am perched on the next part of my journey, leaving all that I need not carry nor worry about with the remnants of the cocoon I sheltered my spirit with while I grew and learned and changed.  The fragility of my new-found wings is apparent but they are also stronger than they appear.  When I have made sure they are dry and ready, I will take off and fly, going to wheresoever it is I need to go.

I will find my way.

I am free.


¹I actually wrote this a few weeks ago so the time period referred to in it, as the time I have been waiting for is already past.  

13 thoughts on “Free Spirit

  1. Dearest Lizzie,
    I can feel the lift of your wings, and the spirit in your soul. There are not many of us who can know and say we are free at the same time.
    I love you,

  2. Beautiful.

    How odd to know that so many travel the road without learning and growing, yet when we do so we are marked as ‘strange’.

    Fly on golden wings little butterfly – you have so much to discover! 🙂

    Love and hugs!


  3. Beautiful! And timely for me to read as I head out to test my wings.
    Thanks for the post Lizzie!!.Fly! I would hug you but I wouldn’t want to hold you back or squish your wings.

  4. Ah! Yes I think you are a butterfly. A beautiful butterfly, cyberdaughter. And learning and growing all the time. Butterflies have the wrong name though. I think they should be called Flutterbys! ❤ xoxo

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