So many want their outsides to look like their insides feel. On the inside they feel young and vibrant. They want to match that with fillers, injections, botox, implants, liposuction, etc. Some people don’t feel good on the inside so they want the outside to balance that or counteract that and offset the misery on the inside. I’ve met many who have tried to alter their outside to affect their inside.
As we grow older we wish our bodies could do what we did when we were younger. We are wiser and more adventurous and more mindful. We want to use that wisdom to explore all possibilities with a body that may not cooperate. My body is not cooperating. I’ve had to find ways to accept my outer self while trying to enlighten and heal my inner self.
I have known many who have focused on changing the outside without also working on the inside at the same time. I understand wanting to change the outside to some extent. Especially if that means redefining what someone else forced or labeled. I believe it is more important to evolve on the inside. To do that you have to have self awareness. We don’t always want to be self aware. To do that we have to feel. Not all of those feelings are pleasant. Some are excruciating. And some self awareness only takes us down a path of resistance and numbing the pain that was never faced.
I believe in balance. I hope to achieve balance. For me, things need to be slow and slower and slowest.
I watch people. I watch where they obtain their power, their strength, their self esteem, their self worth.
There was such a stark contrast yesterday with an experience I had. A little girl and a man. I wanted to sit this man down and explain to him that he was going about life the wrong way! And my way is not the only way or even the best way but his way was definitely not leading to any sort of evolving or enlightenment. Here is my experience with the little girl and the man.
I went to the butterfly rainforest that was created by the University of Florida. It is this massive screened enclosure with waterfalls and flowers and birds and butterflies. The men and women who work there are supposed to educate while also protecting the environment.
I watched the butterflies that only live a few days, flying around me, and then I saw some who had flown to the top of the enclosure and sat there. My husband thinks it is the perfect world for them since they are free of predators, free to live a life of luxury for their short existence. I watched them and thought of a princess in a castle with guards in her fortress and maids and servants and cooks. I thought of how, given a choice, I would rather fly in the wind for 5 minutes fully and completely free, then be trapped in a beautiful castle, or a beautiful butterfly enclosure.
But not everyone is like me. My husband reminds me of this frequently. Most people don’t think like I do, love like I do, have compassion and empathy like I do, or see things from different perspectives like I do. That makes other people hard for me to understand and makes me hard for others to understand.
I remember once I was showing my mom why I did not eat pork because of how they are inhumanely kept in these barbaric cages and she said…but that is what they are made for and they know no different. But don’t they? I often feel like I am in a prison with this muscle disease body and inability to do so many things others take for granted and in the same breath am grateful that I CAN still do things that many cannot.
I went to the butterfly museum to achieve balance. I could not control my physical body. It was a bad day full of pain and inability. I could not control my mind which was full of despair and anger and defeat. My husband took me there to find a peaceful place of balance.
I had an hour before it closed by the time I got there. Butterflies were all over me. They were on my pants, my scooter, my head, my face, my hand. There were only a few visitors at that time. One little girl was with her mother from out of state and wanted so badly for a butterfly to land on her. One was on my finger so I reached over to let the butterfly gently walk onto her when the butterfly police reprimanded me to NOT TRANSFER BUTTERFLIES IT CAN BLIND THEM> ok buddy I am pretty sure letting one crawl on to someone else does not blind them but hey he’s just doing his job right? Protecting the butterflies. Well this little girl was bouncing around an bounding through the pathways and heir were butterflies COVERING the walkways. I thought to myself…what about those butterflies? Are you going to warn her to not step on them? He didn’t. He honed in on me for whatever reason and decided to follow me the entire time. He asked if I wanted to just transfer the butterfly to him. Um, so I can transfer it to him but not a child? Ok protecting the butterflies. But he was just such a pompous asshole that I said no. I would hold the butterfly. And I did. For that full time I was there I had the original intention to use my new lens and take 100s of photos of butterflies. Well, I had a butterfly on my hand and she did not want to leave. I couldn’t switch my lens or focus my lens or do much but take a few photos and hope they came out. I could have had a peaceful time with the butterfly and the environment but I had a man behind me breathing down my neck. He’d step back and then come forward again.
I then met another little girl who had a compromised immune system. She and I both noticed the blue butterfly. It was so beautiful. One wing had this purple hue and the other blue iridescent. I commented to her that the butterfly was injured on one wing and how amazing it was that this butterfly still had us in such awe in her beauty even though she was missing half a wing. It was a beautiful moment. She pointed out another butterfly I did not even see. I will forever think of this little girl if I think or see these butterflies again.
But the man still lurked around me so much so that I contemplated getting tossed out of the place and just blowing my top but there were two little girls there. So, there I was for an hour with this butterfly. I took some pictures of her. It wasn’t until the last few minutes she opened up her wings in the sun and I could see she had blue that was not apparent in the shade! I had tried to put her on flowers but she turned her back and kept walking towards me. So I drove my scooter with a butterfly on my finger and took pictures with a butterfly on my finger.
It was announced they were about to close and an older woman told me WE ARE ABOUT TO CLOSE. Um, yeah, I’m not deaf just in a scooter. AND I was near the exit door. I was searching myself to make sure there were no other butterflies on me when she said it was time to go and I told her I was making sure there were no butterflies on me as she said THAT’S OUR JOB as she starts coming up to me. I was very proud of myself for saying I could check myself and DO NOT TOUCH ME. Rare for me. She asked to take the butterfly off my finger. I said no. The lurking man was behind me. She was in front of me. And the little girls were beside me. I reached over for the 100th time to a flower and I tell you that butterfly stepped right onto that flower with a “FUCK YOU” look over the shoulder at the guy who was the lurker.
Peace was not restored in my mind. There is no need for rude behavior. No excuse in a butterfly rainforest for heaven’s sake. So I went outside and was determined to find some joy. I found a little pond and then some birds that posed just perfectly for me. They sat on this pole and sang songs back and forth and brought me great joy. Brought me some peace. Brought me some balance. For that moment I did not think about my muscle disease or pain, just the song birds.
I get that everyone has their issues, their battles, their struggles, their goals, their challenges, their inner fight, their exterior fight, but for the love of the world just be kind. Isn’t that a good step! I understand rules and regulations and I will follow them but tell me kindly and to hover and ruin my one hour to achieve peace. That guy has no idea what he COULD have done to defeat me even further. But I didn’t allow that. I found something else. My husband came to pick me up and I had for the moment found balance.
Pictures to follow in part 2.