I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the power of personal transformation. It started with Easter, which, no matter your faith or belief system, is really a holiday about our potential for transformation. I know and love that we have the potential for incredible transformation.
Throughout my life, I have been transformed. Often, transformation has come through hardships. Despite my attempts to ignore, push away, or run away from these “growing opportunities,” I’ve eventually learned to take a deep breath, submit, and let myself grow and transform. Sometimes, transformation has come by choice—inviting an opportunity to learn, improve, grow. No matter the means, the outcome is the same: I know the power of personal transformation; I have experienced it time and again.
That’s the beauty of life—we’re not meant to stay the same. It’s obvious as we watch our children learn and grow, so why can it feel so hard to believe that we, as adults, must continue to grow, too? Why can it feel so impossible to believe we can not only grow, but we can be transformed?
Becoming the Butterfly
I think of the caterpillar, crawling about her business, content to roam the earth on her belly, until one day, she feels the call—the call to start building something, the call to transform. Does she know what she is building or what she is destined to become? Or does she simply listen to the whispers and follow her heart until she is tightly wrapped in her chrysalis? Does she realize, as she lets herself be wrapped and molded that she is sprouting wings to fly? Does she see her own beauty, as she finally breaks free? Do we?
Yes, I have been transformed, and I believe it is a divine call for each of us—to allow this transformation to take place. To courageously step up and say, “I’m ready to become who and what I am meant to be.” It’s not about becoming rich or famous or popular. No. It’s about becoming more and more authentic, loving, whole, and complete. It’s about living with meaning and purpose and fulfilling your unique life’s purpose. “I believe in being complete…Living authentically—listening to the whispers and doing what’s right, being true to who I really am—helps me appreciate the good and the bad, for I see them as opportunities to grow. The more I grow, the more perfected I become: she who has ‘attained her purpose;’ feeling ‘so good nothing of the kind could be better;’ ‘complete.’” This is How We Grow, p. 271.
I remember so many days—when I was overwhelmed by the reality of raising six children, when I was sleep-deprived from nursing a baby all night and nursing five other kids, and myself, through loss and growth all day—I remember how I thought I was experiencing my final transformation. We are transformed when we leave home, we are transformed when we marry, and we are most definitely transformed when we become a parent. But now I was a mother, six times over! “I’m needed here full-time,” I reminded myself. “This is the most important work I can do, and I am determined to succeed.” And it was, and I believe I have succeeded. But, mistakenly, I believed that meant I wasn’t needed anywhere else, that there wasn’t any other important work for me to do in my life. I thought I’d never fulfill my dreams—of becoming a writer, an author, a speaker, a songwriter.
Fast forward, and here I am. I was transformed into a confident mother of six, and then into an author, a few times over, and a speaker, and a songwriter. As the time has been right, new transformations have taken place. That’s the great thing about personal transformation—it never ends, if we allow it to continue to unfold. Unlike the butterfly, we can rebuild and reenter our cocoons of transformation and become beautiful new creatures, over and over.
It requires faith, and listening to those whispers. And it requires the desire to transform. Lately, I’ve been seeking to understand what my new dream should be; I’ve been praying and listening. And the most unusual opportunity came along in an unassuming email—the opportunity to host a parenting radio show. At first, I didn’t know that it was right for me. I had no desire or dream to be on the radio. But, I’ve come to see that this was the answer to my prayers—my new transformation, my new opportunity to grow, and my new opportunity to help many others grow and transform, too.
As I wrote in This is How We Grow, quoting and commenting on Marianne Williamson, “And what is the light we see, when our minds are reconciled to Truth? We see not only that we are one with others, but also that all of us carry seeds of the divine.’ I love helping others find their divine, for that is how I find mine.” (p. 395) I welcome this newest transformation, and I hope you will join me in the months to come as we seek to transform and grow, together.
The Steps of Personal Transformation
How do you find your divine? How can you give yourself over to the power of personal transformation? How can you become the butterfly you are destined to be? I certainly don’t have all the answers, but I do have a few—at least, this is a good place to start:
- Recognize what and where you already are. If we want to become something new, we first need to know who and what we already are. Take time to search within and see the truth of who you are, and the truth of who you desire to be. Be honest with yourself about your current weaknesses, and strengths, and what might be blocking you from getting where you want to be.
- Discover your life’s vision. Envision who you want to be, and what you desire to become. Let go of the tethers holding you down—the expectations, words of others, false beliefs, and especially fears. Let go and dream. (Read “Discovering Your Life’s Vision” and “Overcoming Fear”)
- Build and enter your chrysalis. Butterflies don’t just magically pop out of caterpillars. It takes work to build the cocoon of transformation, and time to enter and remain until the butterfly is ready to emerge. Take your time setting goals, understanding the process of change, and working on the change you desire. Work on your talents. Practice. Seek new learning opportunities, and share what you have to offer in small doses. Let yourself be in the “season” of life you’re in. Give yourself space to prepare.
- Don’t overstay your welcome in the chrysalis. We’re not meant to stay in the cocoon of transformation forever. Have faith. Believe in yourself. If you lack self-confidence, then work on it. Believe you are the butterfly as you prepare to emerge. (Read “The Pyramid of Self-Worth” and my new book, Who Am I Without You? –it’s all about transformation and self-confidence!)
- Emerge and be the butterfly. Believe in your beauty. Believe in your wings. Emerge, and let yourself fly.
What is your experience with personal transformation? Do you believe we each have “the divine” within? How can we allow ourselves to be transformed? Please leave a comment, below!
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