Sunday, October 21, 2007

Dont Sleep With Caterpillars

Good morning! its 4:30am. There is a very good reason why I am not in bed right now. But it’s a long story so grab a cuppa and ill explain.

At 3:30am I was woken by inconsolable crying coming from my daughters room. When I went in and finally found was able to translate the sobs into intelligible words I realized a terrible thing had happened – Chloe the Caterpillar was gone!

She hadn’t just escaped though, her little container of grass had tipped over, leaving a grassy bed, an empty container and no Chloe. I did my motherly duty and searched carefully over the bed and floor but to no avail, Chloe is missing in action. While removing the spiky bits of grass from the sheets, I tried the old saying “Its ok, we’ll just find another Chloe tomorrow” but that didn’t work (actually, has that ever worked?). Next I tried “maybe Chloe just went outside to visit her family” but that wasn’t very consoling either. So we had a little discussion about caterpillas (at 3:40am!) and we decided that since Chloe was a caterpillar, maybe she turned into a butterfly and flew away (phew!). That will do until morning.

So I went back to bed but here it is an hour later and I'm still awake. See I was thinking maybe some of you might need to hear my story and learn the lesson – Don’t sleep with caterpillars, you just get spiky grass in your bed.

Some people are ‘sleeping with caterpillars’ even though they don’t have a Tupperware container filled with grass in their bed. I'm sure you can remember a time when someone has hurt you, either by their words or their actions. Sometimes, we carry around that hurt, make a place for it inside our heart, feed it by thinking about it and dwelling on it, replaying it over and over in our minds. In the end, all you end up with is an empty heart and a life full of prickles.

We all need to let our caterpillars go. For some its as easy as leaving the container outside, of choosing not to bring it in. For others, it may be simply placing the caterpillar on a leaf and walking away. Others still might need a friend to stand by while letting it go and lend a hand cleaning up the grass.

If we had let Chloe go, she would have turned into a beautiful butterfly and we would have enjoyed the beauty and freedom at another time. That’s what happens when you let things go, you experience freedom and your life, even though you have been hurt, can be a life of beauty.

So next time you find yourself carrying a caterpillar, remember Chloe and leave it outside.

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