Have you ever stopped to consider who you might be today without the hurts and pain you have experienced? I know, I know. There's no way you and I can really know the answer to that question. I do think, however, that it's worth reflecting upon.
As I look back on my life—at the losses and disappointments—I see how those things have forged pathways into my heart that have filled in with tears, tenderness, compassion and a depth of love that I know I wasn't capable of feeling on my own. Experiencing a broken relationship when I was just a young woman opened me to others who experienced similar things. Years later, my divorce marked the first time I physically felt what it meant to have a broken heart. After the grief and ultimately, the healing, I grew in ways I never imagined. My sensitivity to others grew, too. Then after two huge career disappointments—career moves into which I had poured my heart—I was opened even further. And later, losing the position from which I thought I would retire someday pushed me way, way beyond where I thought I might be. Where initially that was devastating, it actually became something freeing deep inside me. Who knew?
Through all of that, and through other losses and disappointments, I have been softened. I have become more authentic. I'm still very much a work-in-progress. But I am learning to drop masks and behaviors that really don't fit me any longer. I am learning to express my love and my humanity openly—and to worry far less about what people will think. Now I wonder why I ever wasted so much time worrying about the things I did. In my deepened capacity to have compassion for others, I am also learning self-compassion; so I let go of the need to wonder why I thought and felt what I did in the past. I was who I was then. And now I am ever-evolving—and who knows where I will be in the future?
So many cocoons. So many chances to emerge as that beautiful butterfly all over again! Where are you today? Who are you becoming? Celebrate all the transformations: past, present and future!