A Guided Tour of Transformation
Introduction to a new you
We are all familiar with the idea of transformation. It is ingrained in us as a species. Every religion and philosophy speaks of it. Science is filled with examples of it occurring in nature. Our favorite books and films discuss it in various forms, both good and bad.
So why do we need an introduction to it?
Because, while we may embrace and understand the idea of transformation at an intellectual level, we tend to have a hard time applying that to ourselves in a meaningful way.
Within the religious tradition that I was raised, transformation in a practical sense ends with accepting Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior. You are essentially transformed into someone who is not going to hell anymore, and any outward sign of this change is a bonus.
We understand as a species that inner transformation of some sort is necessary for us to grow and mature, but, more often than not, the progression ends there. We believe that slavery is bad, but do not make an effort to root out the racism that made it possible. Or we resist attempts to root it out by appealing to the fact that we have a couple of black friends and work for a company that celebrates diversity while somehow maintaining ideas that were, sometimes inadvertently, ingrained in us from the time we were children that are indeed racist.
In other words, we view transformation as something that happens once and then, after that, is over and done. Or, even more dangerously, we view transformation as some kind of future event that we just need to patiently wait for and that will happen to us without any kind of action on our part.
Both of which are a misunderstanding of what transformation actually is.
The key feature of transformation, contrary to popular belief, is that it is an ongoing process. There are, indeed, moments of major change. A butterfly emerging from a cocoon. A former white supremacist renouncing his racist ways and becoming an advocate for racial equality. A young man coming out to his family and friends. These are momentous in an of themselves, but they are not the end of transformation. They are important, but they must be understood as steps along the way.
Transformation is a path, not an event.
Butterflies are rather cliche, but they do represent transformation in a visible manner. But we still misunderstand what is happening if we stop discussing the butterfly at the moment she emerges from her cocoon. Her purpose is not to be a butterfly any more than the coming out is the end of your purpose. Now that she has emerged as her final form, the butterfly has an ongoing purpose that involves making more butterflies and pollinating flowers that are unable to pollinate themselves. She also exists to possibly be food for larger animals. Or at her death, become the very soil that the flowers she helped pollinate grow in.
Her transformation continues at every step of her journey.
Which is also true for you. You may have had a moment of explosive transformation. But those explosive moments do not define you. They simply make up the moments in your journey to being the best version of yourself you can be. Those big moments are important. They are in some ways defining moments, but they should not be viewed as ends. These moments of emerging, while vital and necessary, are means to an ultimate end.
If this piece has impacted you in some way, feel free to leave a comment, share it on your social media platform of choice, or email me at email@example.com . I would love to chat and see in what ways I can help you come to a better grasp of your own transformation. You can also join me on facebook or join the group Pathways to Transformation, where this week we will be beginning a course in various methods at guiding you toward being the best version of yourself imaginable.