The caterpillar is a leaf-muncher.
It consumes it's way through life, trying to fill itself with the things it finds around it. Then something magical happens.
It stops consuming and yeilds its body. As it does so, it dissolves into a sludgy gray goop of imaginal cells.
From its state of total surrender, a new form emerges, with new abilities which would have been impossible in its previous form.
The bulbous, earthbound leaf-muncher
becomes a being of great beauty and grace, a master of the air.
Human beings are currently undergoing a similar transition, from that of an earth-bound consciousness concerned with consumption into a state of grace and higher, unbound consciousness. The degree of ease with which this occurs for any given individual is directly proportional to the ability to surrender. In order for the new form of consciousness to arise, the old form must be allowed to dissolve.
All across our planet today, we can see the results as the inner transformation becomes an outer one. We are seeing it in the dissolution of oppressive governments and a rising up against the irresponsibility and unaccountability of our financial institutions. It is as if the old forms which no longer serve us are being called into account and dissolved.
All change requires courage, but there is something that everyone can do, regardless of belief structure, culture or background that will make the transition easier for themselves and everyone around them.
Love is the most powerful and least understood force in the universe. Love is NOT what the world teaches us it is. We are taught from birth that loving is possessing, that it is yearning, longing, jealous and needful, butterflies in the stomach and sleepless nights. That is the flu. It is not love. Real love is not dependent upon what it loves for its own happiness. Real love comes from a place of wholeness, not of need. It gives freely without concern for taking. In real love, there is peace, wholeness and wisdom, and a limitless fountain of grace.
Expanding our understanding of what love is, and choosing to embody love in each moment is part of the foundation for our personal and collective shift. It is love that created us, and love that is calling us back to itself.
How do we know when we are choosing love? There is a sense of peace and freedom, and the utter absence of fear. There is no struggle in love, though this does not imply that love is at rest or inactive. Love is ever in motion, seeking the good of that which is loved. Fear cannot exist in the light of love.
Humanity is standing at a threshold. We have an uprecedented opportunity to create the world of balance and harmony we all long for. In order to do this, however, it is essential to shift our understanding of what power is. Just as the world teaches us that love is something which it is not, so we are taught that power is an external force, to be exerted over others and resisted. This form of power is actually a great weakness, trapping those who wield it into a cycle of need. Once obtained, this external power must be preserved at all costs because to lose it is like a death.
This is the reason for much of the struggle in our world today, as individuals and institutions threatened by the changes cling onto their sense of power and control. The thing that overcomes this external power is not a greater external force, but rather the rising of authentic inner power.
What is authentic power? Real power, like love, has no need. It has no need to possess, control or dominate. In the external power-over structure, personal power is given away in a cycle of oppression and dependency. In the new authentic power model, every individual is totally responsible for themselves.
Total personal responsibility is the foundation of authentic power. When someone assumes total personal responsibility, it means that blame is no longer possible. No other person or institution can be held responsible for our well being or happiness, once we take back that responsibility for ourselves. You may have heard someone say "You cannot make me angry. I can choose to be angry or I can choose to understand, but that choice is mine." This is real, authentic power, and like love, it has no need to be right, no need to be in control of others. It does not wait for another to change or make changes but recognizes its own ability to provide for self. It sets a new standard and simply refuses to give its power away to others.
There are markers to watch for to tell if, at any given moment, we are operating from authentic power or from the external power model. Emotions are a dead giveaway. Judgment, fear, a sense of rightness or righteousness, outrage, idolizing or demonizing someone else, all of these things indicate the giving away of personal power. Shifting from that place to a place of authentic power only takes a change of perspective. As soon as we let go and allow ourselves to trust the power of the Divine within us, we become like the caterpillar entering the chrysalis, allowing our form to dissolve and be changed from the earth-bound leaf-muncher to the embodiment of beauty and grace. That small change of perspecitve is available to ALL of us in every moment, regardless of external circumstance, allowing us ready access to authentic power, marked by compassion, peace and freedom. It is from this place that possibilities for real and lasting change arise, and this is how we change our world by first changing ourselves.
For more information on love and power, and tips on emotional mastery, visit our Supportive Writing library here: http://heartrising.squarespace.com/supportive-writing/
Click below to listen to an audio version of this text.