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Tag Archives: Butterflies

When working toward a goal it is not uncommon to experience discouragement along the way. Even though we know that achieving our dreams will take hard work and tedious attention, when the trip grows long and laborious we begin to doubt our path, or grow weary of the journey. We may even consider abandoning the trek in favor of the path of least resistance. I have been in such a place for the past four or five months. I’ve grown weary of the endless papers, academic writing, dry, heady readings, and never-ending deadlines. When one quarter ends, another begins, again and again and again. I have doubted my abilities and wondered if I even want to persist to the end. All that changed however, when I spent the past week in Arlington, VA, at a required colloquia with hundreds of other aspiring mental health counselors. Divided into cohorts of 10 to 12 students each, we worked intensely in a classroom setting from morning till night honing our skills, critiquing our shortcomings, strategizing plans to improve what we do and move into our fieldwork settings. AND we affirmed each other. I was privileged to be in a group with nine other amazing, strong, capable, compassionate and dedicated women. Our instructors were phenomenal experienced counselors and teachers. During the week I repeatedly received affirmation that I was indeed in the right profession, and the journey was worth continuing. I came away from the experience awed by the beauty of each person there. We came with our flaws, our torn wings (see photo), our less than perfect personhood, but when the light of affirmation shown on each of us, just like that butterfly, the beauty was dazzling. Affirmation of a job well done, or for being the persons we were meant to be, revitalizes and beautifies. The path doesn’t look so treacherous anymore because we have light to illuminate our way. I am ever so grateful for the power of affirmation. Hugs to my cohort. You are truly beautiful women.

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Butterflies flitting through summer blooms have always mesmerized me.  I can spend hours watching them as the flutter about totally oblivious to the passing of time.  If one ponders the metamorphosis from the plain, even ugly, caterpillar into a creature of delicate and colorful beauty, the butterfly becomes even more amazing.  Butterflies are the perfect metaphor for life.  We are tooling through our days without much concern when suddenly we hit a bump–or even a crater!–and then we are forced into a cocoon of sorrow, pain, suffering, doubt, whatever the case may be, only to emerge having metamorphosed into a butterfly ourselves.  Romantic vision? Yes. But romance is not all bad.  In this case the butterfly is a symbol of hope, renewed life, delicate as it may be.  I’ve been through a few of those experiences in my lifetime, and only when I have emerged as a butterfly am I able to appreciate the journey that got me here.  I am grateful for butterflies!

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