Last week, this vision presented itself during meditation:

Humanity appeared as caterpillars crawling all over the planet. In many areas, the caterpillars were coming together frantically climbing to reach an imaginary apex. They crawled over and on top of one another. That created a panic. Large numbers began to think, “Oh, I must get to the top, too!” As the mountain of caterpillars increased, fights broke out and many were killed or smothered. Certain species banded together to kill those that were not like them out of fear and competition. Those that did reach the top wondered what the rush and panic was all about—nothing was there.

Then came a pandemic that required the caterpillars to crawl away from striving and climbing. It provided time for them to reflect and reconsider their priorities. Many were fearful as the old life faded away. Other caterpillars continued to keep busy and worked extra hard believing their value resided in the opinion of those around them. They were afraid to look in the mirror of self-reflection. Those who did look, however, became calmer and aware. They noticed that many of life’s real gifts had been overlooked: love, family, kindness and creative expression.

As the caterpillars digested this new awareness, the cocoon of presence and trust initiated their metamorphosis and a chrysalis began to form. Lasting a few weeks, this transfiguration dispelled old beliefs, released outmoded ideas and reworked relationships. This shift initiated a desire to step out of the familiar and into the excitement of the unknown. Yes, they were a little nervous, but their anticipation of what their future could look like was greater than their fear.

As the caterpillars relaxed into their transformation, the structures of the old developed into something they never could have imagined. After some time, new energy animated their bodies. With effort and commitment, they exercised new muscles to break free from the shackles of safety. Finally, the hard shell of the chrysalis cracked and gave way to patterned wings in colors of electric blue, carnelian, iridescent yellow, scarlet, violet and silver. Transformed, as butterflies, they stretched and adjusted to the clear air around them. After sufficient rest, they took flight. The freedom of flight presented a new perspective. They appreciated the beauty of Nature and each other. Their confidence moved them from greed to gratitude.

After their metamorphosis was complete, the butterflies were no longer interested in competition; their focus had turned to the joy of flight. The caterpillars, who resisted the chance to contemplate their reflection and savor isolation, never learned to fly.