In Emily’s blog on August 23rd 2009 Cognitive Dissonance she writes:
Right now, my life is expanding and changing in so many ways, most of them because of cancer. When I was sick, my life had contracted to the smallest possible size, the most microscopic of meanings: simply surviving. I lost touch with so much of my own sense of capability and energy and strength. I was just trying to keep on living, however dysfunctionally.
Now, I am spending epic weekends with new friends who share in the knowledge of what it means to be young, with cancer, trying to figure out how to live. Next week I will be in Wyoming with a group of complete strangers, also survivors, climbing rocks in the Grand Tetons. Experiences I thought I would never have. People I otherwise would never have met. A whole new frame of reference for understanding who I am, my place in the world and what I am meant to be doing with my time on earth. How can I be so angry at cancer, and so grateful to have the opportunity to engage in this kind of self-discovery? The clash of these feelings inside of me makes me feel confused and a bit torn apart, but also very much alive. Maybe more than I ever was before.
I believe that most of us if truly honest with ourselves know what it is to simply survive. Many of us have been cursed and in turn blessed as life thrusts us into a process undeniably bound to grow. She asked how she could be so angry with cancer and so grateful to engage in this kind of self discovery.
This is the very process of metamorphosis thrust upon us in lives greatest challenges…Divorce…bankruptcy…Illness etc. They are the transformation.
The Kabbalah states that not only can man transform, but he must in order to fulfill the purpose of creation. The butterfly must fight its way out of the cocoon. Break its way into the light, come to find its own strength or it will never be able to fly.
Man’s nature is a desire to receive pleasure and in its yang avoid pain. But it is our ability to endure the pain, break from the shackles of our fears and push towards the light that thrusts us forward, emerging changed, transformed into something new. Our transformation is not visible on the outside it is internal….eternal.
At the end of this process you wouldn’t be able to return to the caterpillar form even if you tried. It serves as a base of who we have become, a faint shadow of our past self, and the essence of our being. But after the struggle and its transformative effect you become something new unrecognizable to the fore. This quest, this seeking whether thrust upon us or chosen bears its fruit.
Images: (1) Steven Meisel photographer, Gisele Bundchenmodel in ‘Rubber Soul’ for Vogue Italia, December 2010- Anne of Carversville (2) Jacquelyn Jablonski in Emillio Pucci- Omstiletto(3) Luly Yang Metamorphosis-Follow the White Rabbit