I grew up in Texas and played with caterpillars all the time… but as I’ve migrated north over the years, cocoons are harder and harder to come by. I was reminded today of the mystery of metamorphosis and how one thing can turn into something completely new and different though the outside world might never know.
I took a piece of paper and gently scooped him out to the flower garden. I hope he has a good life munching his way through the greenery. I also hope that I come across him again as he morphs into a beautiful butterfly.
So also with people.
I was sitting in an airport recently reflecting on a meeting that I’d just had. As I was waiting to board the plane home, my friend called to ask me how it went. “Good,” I said… “really good.” Underneath that simple response was the thought: People are so different… and I have judged poorly. Obvious? Yes, I know… track with me.
I didn’t realize until that moment that I’ve been hiding behind a wall. I didn’t actually know that this wall even existed in me. I’ve been holding onto a stereotype: All [-fill-in-the-blank-]’s are the same. In this particular story, the blank is the name of a certain kind of job… if I tell you what it is, I will hurt some people’s feelings. It doesn’t really matter… you can fill in the blank however you want and it will still ring true.
When it hit me that All [-fill-in-the-blank-]’s are NOT the same… I was a new creation. It was so weird!
I had given myself permission to change and all the [-fill-in-the-blank-]’s permission to change as well… in my mind that is. I let go of some really hurtful things caused by [-fill-in-the-blank-]’s and began to have hope that new [-fill-in-the-blank-]’s would be different. I think I dumped the old stereotype for good.
So what does that mean? I’m moving forward. With less emotional baggage. Without a ball-and-chain-history that has held me back. With a lighter heart that is motivated toward a new future. This was just the right lesson at just the right time for me. We all know that God is good.
We all change… whether we see it or not. We all CAN change… it IS possible. Do you give yourself permission to change? Do you give others permission to change? What walls do you want to tear down?