Ever heard of the word “metamorphosis”?
It stands for deep and profound change and has two of the world’s most famous pieces of literature named after it, i.e. Franz Kafka’s novella about the existential struggles of a man turned cockroach, and Ovid’s series of poems about how gods shifted shapes thanks to their adventures with mortals.
It comes from the term metamorphosis, in the animal kingdom: a caterpillar eats and grows bigger and bigger till it forms a cocoon around itself.
What emerges from it is a butterfly, a thing so totally different and so totally more beautiful from the raw materials that it comes from.
This has given rise to the term, ‘butterfly’ moment. They are moments of deep change and profound metamorphosis in human beings.
It is when one realizes deep hidden truths about one’s own self and their surroundings.
There is a deep adrenaline rush and there is a deep sense of gloom, during which one, despite not wanting to, comes face to face with truths they ignore all their lives.
I’ll give you an example from my own life: a few years back I was a student preparing for my public examinations. I was a straight-A student who had done pretty well with science subjects all my life.
But that changed one night when I was preparing for my physics exam, I suddenly realized I would never be happy as someone pursuing science. The coldness, the matter-of-factness and the sheer grounded reality of science was never for me. I decided to take up the one true love of my life: literature.
Five years later, I have never looked back, with regret or anger, at my old self.
That butterfly moment truly changed the way I think and I saw the world around me. The moment was hard and tough and I cried, thinking my world which sheltered me for many years was coming crashing down and I was like a rudderless boat in a vast untamed sea.
But it passed. I came out wiser if not richer.
Next time, such a deep and terrible gloom comes over you when you question everything you know, let the moment stay. Use it to give your life a better direction.
Flap your wings and show the world their colors.
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