“How do you get to be so free?” Caterpillar asks wistfully of Butterfly.
“Surrender,” Butterfly whispers as she flutters by.
“But… I’ve read all the books, taken all the classes, and I just can’t seem to get off the ground.”
“What do you mean – surrender? Surrender to what?”
“To the Mystery. To your Creator. To your own DNA.”
“How do I do that?” Caterpillar frowns.
“Climb up in that tree, let go of the branch, and spin.”
“But I don’t know how to spin. Do I need to take a course? Is there a manual?”
“You’ll know. Once you’re up there on the branch.”
“I’ll know? How will I know?”
“It’s written in your DNA.”
“What happens next? Do I have to spin my own wings?”
“No, silly,” Butterfly giggles. “You spin a cocoon.”
“A cocoon? I’ve never heard of that before. What do I do with it once I’ve spun it?”
“You don’t do anything. You just wait. Inside the cocoon.”
“What good does waiting do? I have too much work to do to sit around waiting in a cocoon. I have housework to do and children to feed and… well, that’s just ridiculous.” Caterpillar turns away, her eyes back on the ground.
“Well, then you’d better give up your dream of flying, because that’s the only way to get up here.” Butterfly’s wings carry her a little higher.
Caterpillar glances back at the sky. Her eyes fill with tears. “But… I really want to fly. Can you tell me a little more? Please. What comes next?”
“The hard part. The surrender.”
“So we’re back to surrender again. That doesn’t seem very helpful. And it’s kind of confusing. What am I surrendering?”
“Everything you ever knew. Every cell of your body. Every story you’ve ever told yourself.”
“I have to give up EVERYTHING?! Isn’t that asking a bit much?”
“Yes, but it’s worth it.”
“Does it hurt?”
“Oh yes. It hurts.”
“How do you handle the pain?”
“You won’t like the answer.”
“Tell me anyway.”
“Surrender. And trust. You have to surrender to the pain and trust the process. You have to give up control and let your body turn to an ugly gooey mushy substance while you wait for transformation to happen. Your friends (those who haven’t learned to spin yet) will turn away because they won’t recognize you. It will be the hardest thing you’ll ever have to do.”
“I don’t know if I can do it. I can’t handle that much pain.”
“Do you want to taste the sky?”
“Oh yes. I really, really do.”
“Then you have to let go of the ground.”
I’m excited to announce a new series called “Let go of the ground & taste the sky”. I’m gathering stories of people who’ve learned what it means to surrender (in big or small ways) to the Mystery. I’ll be sharing those stories here in the coming weeks. To get this off the ground, here’s one of my own stories…
p.s. If you’re learning to surrender, I’m cooking up an offering (I hesitate to call it an e-course, but it’s something like that) where we can learn and practice together. Look for details soon!
A few of the stories I mention in the video:
Committed to love, tethered to pain
Birthing Sophia Leadership at ALIA