Caterpillars to Butterflies

As hard as everything seems now, remember that this is the opportunity of a lifetime. This is our chance to reinvent ourselves.  We have survived the bullshit of the past and we’ve made a clean break from it! Remember, 

“What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly.” -Richard Bach

We’ve been caterpillars all this time! And in our heads we’re still crying out “the world is ending!” But we have to trust that we’re almost at the butterfly stage. You’re a pretty damn wonderful caterpillar, so what a beautiful butterfly I know you’ll be! 

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Death shall have no dominion

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And Death Shall Have No Dominion
BY DYLAN THOMAS

And death shall have no dominion.
Dead men naked they shall be one
With the man in the wind and the west moon;
When their bones are picked clean and the clean bones gone,
They shall have stars at elbow and foot;
Though they go mad they shall be sane,
Though they sink through the sea they shall rise again;
Though lovers be lost love shall not;
And death shall have no dominion.

And death shall have no dominion.
Under the windings of the sea
They lying long shall not die windily;
Twisting on racks when sinews give way,
Strapped to a wheel, yet they shall not break;
Faith in their hands shall snap in two,
And the unicorn evils run them through;
Split all ends up they shan’t crack;
And death shall have no dominion.

And death shall have no dominion.
No more may gulls cry at their ears
Or waves break loud on the seashores;
Where blew a flower may a flower no more
Lift its head to the blows of the rain;
Though they be mad and dead as nails,
Heads of the characters hammer through daisies;
Break in the sun till the sun breaks down,
And death shall have no dominion.

I’m not in a good place at the moment. I probably fit nicely into the “mad and dead as nails” category Thomas mentions. But death has not conquered me yet. And though we all lose loved ones through death, death cannot take love from us. Our love is our legacy.

Only through struggle can we develop strength

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Do not pray for an easy life, pray for the strength to endure a difficult one.

– Bruce Lee

I agree and disagree with Lee’s statement. I believe it is better to have had a difficult life but to have the strength to endure it than to have an easy life. When someone knows struggle, they will appreciate the wonder of an easy day so much more than someone whose life has been a succession of easy days.

Where I disagree with Lee is that he suggests that we should pray for strength. We don’t need to pray for strength because for every day we struggle, we grow a little stronger. Struggle is nature’s way of strengthening us. Because we suffer, we are strong. Because we are strong, we endure. And because we endure, we will one day know an easy day.

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Every child is innocent. End child abuse.

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”I can’t wait until I grow up.” These are words that should never be uttered by a child. Childhood should be a time of fun, happiness and innocence – not abuse. And yet there are children in every town and city around the world crying out in pain. Because they are being physically abused. Emotionally abused. Sexually abused.

I am a child abuse survivor. And there is one thing I know for certain: I am not alone. But as a child that was all I felt. Nobody heard my screams, nobody heard my cries, nobody heard the shouts of abuse and insults hurled at me on a daily basis. As far as I knew, nobody cared.

Growing up in a physically and emotionally abusive family isolates you. And yet the strange and contradictory thing is that it normalizes the situation. I presumed this was how every child was treated – that abuse was a normal and unspoken truth suffered by all of my schoolfriends.

It wasn’t until I was about 15 that I learned that abuse is by no means normal when my rather opinionated friends voiced their thoughts on the subject. “I would never slap a child to punish them! Not even my grandparents did that. That’s so medieval.” I was astounded. I wondered if this was a poor attempt at irony on their behalf – but their faces were serious. That was my first hint that my life wouldn’t be always like this.

I am one of the lucky ones. I have grown up, escaped and survived. But there are still millions of children out there who are crying alone thinking what they’re going through is normal. The chances are that they won’t ask you for help, because how could they know they need help if abuse is all they’ve known?

It is up to us to notice the signs to help the children who need it most:
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Speak out against child abuse. And for us survivors it’s important to make our voices heard so we can help other children who had no childhoods. Their pain can be ended.

Today is where your book begins, the rest is still unwritten

*queue the almost painfully happy song

When you’re going through a hard time, upbeat joy-filled songs can almost feel patronizing (I’m looking at you Pharrell Williams!). They have a way of making me realize what I’m lacking in life. And that annoys me. But this is one happy song that offers inspirational lyrics along with cheesy music.

 

Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins
The rest is still unwritten

 

For me, the song is a sweet reminder that the past is in the past and should not be dwelt upon. We only have this moment, it is our duty to experience it: no one else can feel the moment you’re living in now. It’s yours. Say the things you want and need to say and have no regrets. Beddingfield’s most powerful idea of all is that you can begin again today. The past is behind you and the future is yours to write. Now that is a happy song that gives me a reason to be happy.

 

Today is where your book begins. 

The rest is still unwritten.

Kindness can heal

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A heart that reaches out with love can heal a soul and change a life. There are a lot of kind people in the world.Their acts of kindness, however small they may be, brighten days and fill us with joy – even just for a moment.

And one moment of joy in a depressed person’s life is worth more than any material object. Imagine the feeling of looking into someone’s eyes and being able to see that you made their day. Imagine how good it would feel.

Some days it’s hard to be kind. But just remember: a hug, a smile or simply being there for someone can be counted as a kind deed too.

Mark Twain says it best on the subject of kindness:

Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.

The best ways to cheer yourself up is to try and cheer someone else up.

Be kind to strangers. Be kind to friends. Be kind to animals. And reap the rewards.

If the animals can do it, we can too:

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Because I could not stop for death

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One of the most inspirational lines of poetry I have ever read is one by Emily Dickinson:

Because I could not stop for death.

There is such a feeling of triumph in this line. Dickinson is determined to live her life to the fullest. Suicide is not an option for her. We each get only one life: it is worth fighting for. We cannot allow ourselves to stop for death before it naturally arrives.

Death will come anyway, as it finally does in Dickinson’s poem.But before death stops for us, let’s try to savour everything life has to offer. Family. Friendship. Love. Children. Beauty. Old age. Nature. Laughter. Even joy. Until we’ve had the chance to enjoy all these things, we cannot stop for death.

Because I could not stop for Death,
He kindly stopped for me;
The carriage held but just ourselves
And Immortality.
We slowly drove, he knew no haste,
And I had put away
My labor, and my leisure too,
For his civility.

We passed the school, where children strove
At recess, in the ring;
We passed the fields of gazing grain,
We passed the setting sun.

Or rather, he passed us;
The dews grew quivering and chill,
For only gossamer my gown,
My tippet only tulle.

We paused before a house that seemed
A swelling of the ground;
The roof was scarcely visible,
The cornice but a mound.

Since then ’tis centuries, and yet each
Feels shorter than the day
I first surmised the horses’ heads
Were toward eternity.