Personal transformation. Is it always intentional? Do we always plan when and how we transform ourselves? I feel that some of the strongest and most lasting forms of transformation take place sort of by accident. Sometimes our experiences, or challenging situations call for personal change and urge us to take action. Sometimes we outgrow relationships. Sometimes we outgrow unhealthy repeating patterns in our life which forces us to “break the cycle”. Sometimes old systems break down and it is just time for a change. Sometimes we are just simply growing up and learning who we are and what we stand for. We don’t always plan to transform ourselves, we just do.
There are other times when making one somewhat minor change turns into a much bigger deeper change. As you set out to change one area of your life you may then stumble upon a few extra variables that call for change as well. Suddenly you didn’t just make a little change, you made a whole new way of life. One that’s healthier, and makes you feel happier and whole. More true to YOU. A place that you were meant to end up at but didn’t know it. I love when that happens.
Beware of fear and self-doubt. They often show up uninvited when you choose to take a new path, especially since you don’t know what it will look like from start to finish. You are basically having to take one giant leap of faith. Some people stay stuck, never taking that first step because of this. If they can’t see the whole trip mapped out for them all pretty, they aren’t setting one foot on that scary unknown path that leads to God-knows-where, are you crazy?!!
I used to feel that way. Fear can paralyze you. Fear can make you stay stuck in uncomfortable places for much longer than anyone deserves.
My biggest personal transformation came at a time when I had no intention of changing myself. Circumstances arose that pushed me to my inner limits and I simply could not carry on in the way that I always had. The anxiety in my body was unbearable and screamed for me to do something about it. So I started taking action. I didn’t know where it was going to lead yet, but I just started taking small steps in being true to myself. It wasn’t easy. I struggled for a very long time. I wanted to turn back and run back to my old fearful self where at least I knew what to expect because it was familiar. I didn’t run back. And I’m so glad I didn’t. I stayed on my new path. I didn’t have a plan or even a destination in mind. I in fact didn’t know what I was doing. I just kept following my intuition and taking new steps in faith. One foot in front of the other, one step at a time.
Things started falling in place. Eventually.
Where I ended up was not what I pictured. But it was better than what I had imagined or hoped for. What once felt like a lonely senseless journey turned into a discovery of my true inner strength. I gained so much more than I had set out to find. I truly believe that when you take risks and push through fear to make necessary change happen, you are rewarded for it. You grow. Sometimes you even transform into something beautiful and unexpected.
I didn’t mean for that time in my life to be an opportunity for transformation and growth. But it was.
I like to say that at that time I became a butterfly, …by accident.
When I started my art journal today I didn’t have a plan for what I was going to create. So I just took a chance and started randomly scattering a few different blots of color on a page. I sprayed water over all of it and then I closed the opposite page down over it and pressed.
When I opened it up it looked like a big beautiful butterfly.
An accidental butterfly… Like me. 😊
Normally this would have been intended as the first stage of a background in my art journal. But this time, I am going to keep it just the way it is to remind me how sometimes beautiful things happen by accident. A reminder that you can walk into something feeling questionable and unsure of what’s going to happen but that it’s ok to take a risk sometimes and just see what happens. Something beautiful and unexpected can come out of it. It reminds me that transformation is beautiful. It represents change, which requires courage, which requires time, patience, and a whole lot of self-love. All huge lessons and tools you don’t always know you are practicing in the moments they take place.
Sometimes amazing things happen by accident. But in my opinion, they are all meant to be in the end.
In fact, perhaps there are no accidents after all. ❤