Transformation of My Inner Caterpillar

Have you ever woke up feeling something heavy in your chest and you can’t really put the name to this emotion? 

I woke up one morning and found myself thinking I don’t know what or how I am feeling right now but I know that this is not a good or pleasant feeling. This is not something new. Although it is not my predominant state, I have felt like this from time to time. Normally I would immediately come up with a solution or happy distractions whenever I feel negative emotions since I am a positive and happy person. I feel like I am not myself whenever I experience negative emotions and I have a variety of tools — from the spiritual teachings to the Youtube videos of adorable puppies — in my emotional toolbox to experience positive feelings. But this particular morning was different. For some reason, I was curious about this heavy feeling in my chest. Instead of finding ways to get rid of this unpleasant emotion, something deeper inside me wanted to know more about what I was feeling… and more importantly where this feeling would take me.

I thought to myself what if these so-called “negative” feelings want to be loved, acknowledged, and fully seen by me in the same way as the positive feelings such as joy and peace. After all, they are also part of me and part of the human experience. 

I wonder.. when it comes to unpleasant or negative emotions, why are we so eager to fix them or get rid of them so quickly? So, I decided to stay with this feeling for however long they want to be there instead of trying to get rid of them with my creative quick fixes. I was terrified but I told myself it is ok not to feel good or happy all the time. 

Every day, we go through a range of emotions yet we are so afraid to acknowledge the negative feelings we experience.  

Maybe and just maybe… we can appreciate positive emotions like joy, peace, and optimism more if we allow and honor the “unpleasant” emotions instead of trying to get rid of them with quick fixes and shortcuts. 

What if these feelings are the signs that tell us to do something different? What if these feelings are the communication from your deeper self or your soul trying to tell you to find more meaning in your life? What if these so-called darker emotions are the doorway to experiencing the light brighter than we have ever witnessed before? After all, how can we appreciate the light without the darkness? What if these feelings are giving us an opportunity to connect with people in our lives in deeper and more meaningful ways? What if these emotions are the signs from our inner spiritual self saying now it’s time to transform or evolve to a higher dimension? The dimension beyond our imagination. 

As for my quest for searching the meaning behind the heavy emotion, I felt that morning, I am delighted to report that my curiosity paid off. It took me three days for this burdensome feeling to pass naturally. Those were rather grim days for me and my partner. At one point, my partner even asked me why am I torturing myself when he offered to make my favorite drink and I said no. On the evening of the third day, something beautiful happened. During our dinner, I unexpectedly shared all my deepest fear, worries, shame, and guilt with my partner and I started to cry. I didn’t even know I had these feelings! Suddenly I was vulnerable to a degree that I didn’t even know exist. There I was. Chose to stay in the dark with no guarantee of seeing the light. It was not in my control anymore. Something deep inside me was ready to be seen. And boy, was I being seen?!  I was emotionally naked! But it felt so good. I felt intense exhilaration, exuberance, hopefulness, gratitude, and joy on a level I’d never experienced before. My partner and I were shocked and astonished at what happened. After all, we both had never seen that part of me in our eight years relationship. Then he told me how much he appreciates me for sharing these feelings and he feels even closer to me because of this. I immediately sense something different about our relationship. It was like our love and intimacy had reached a whole new level. I don’t know what to call this but it felt like unconditional love. I have so much gratitude for the heavy, dreadful emotion I felt that morning. Without it, we would probably never experience such an intimate and authentic moment that took our relationship to a more beautiful place. 

Eckhart Tolle, the spiritual teacher and author of The Power Of Now, once said “What a caterpillar calls the end of the world we call a butterfly.” I finally realized that I was feeling the pain and discomfort of my inner caterpillar that morning because it was time for me to transform into a beautiful butterfly.  

It is my sincere hope that when we experience these seemingly dark emotions, we all pause and be curious about them instead of covering them up with our usual quick fixes or happy distractions. Maybe these emotions are communications from our inner caterpillars telling us it’s time to become vibrant butterflies. 

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