I’m up at 1 am, tired yet unable to sleep because I have lots to think about. This has been a season of heavy work and high creativity. I’m almost done with my Domestic Violence Training, writing a book, moving on the last phase of Massage school, and I’ve just launched a greeting card line. I’m grateful to do what I love and empower and inspire those who’ve lost their way. Rarely when I’m in work mode do I think of how people will feel about me personally. I simply think about bringing something beautiful to impact something painful. Plain and simple.
Beauties…I’m thinking about butterflies and Martin Luther King, Jr. as I sit here in my robe typing with heavy eye lids. Weird, right? Hold on, I’m going somewhere with this. Have you ever noticed how beautiful and surreal butterflies are? How much they offer you a pause, a glimmer of hope and remind you that despite our politics, wars, and cultural insensitivity that there are beautiful creatures fluttering in our midst?
Have you ever thought about how determined and charismatic Dr. King was? How he was so intent on creating change in the world, despite the way the world threatened him? How he was going around sharing his dream, a message of hope and victory to those that were tired and broken in spirit?
Well, I’m thinking about it. But not in the way you might imagine.
I’m actually thinking about the life span of these beautiful creatures that bless us with their presence, yet leave us with the idea of transformation and change. A butterfly lives on average no more than a year. Dr. King was 39 when he died. Imagine if that they chose to live differently. Would Dr. King still have chosen to take this journey if he knew he’d die at 39? Would the butterfly still flutter in your face even if it knew you’d outlive it? Probably so.
People say to me sometimes that I’m so lucky I get to do what I love. Or they think I’m lucky I got to meet the Mayor and the Vice President. It may even seem glamorous to dress up and be on the news sharing your story in the spotlight. Except, what they don’t know is that when I lived in a shelter, I was still focused on helping other people. That when I’m not feeling especially strong and courageous, I still offer someone else a hug or an ear. And they especially don’t understand that I’d much rather be hosting a gathering of women creating, sharing and healing than any news segment. The truth for me is that I’m here to do my part behind the scenes when nobody’s looking. That’s how it was before and that’s how it will always be.
Why? I’ll sum it up best by sharing my favorite Maya Angelou quote.
We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.