Last night someone I follow on Twitter posed the question of what was our biggest source of hope right now. I replied, “the goodness of humanity is greater than greed.” I continued on with things around the house and later realized someone had retweeted what I said with a comment. The person said it was a lie and only a person with privilege could/would say such a thing. I thought of engaging in a conversation, but decided a conversation on twitter with someone I don’t know and who doesn’t know me is not the most productive use of time… although I didn’t engage, I will admit the comment continues to cloud my mind.
For over a decade I have loved butterflies. It started when I was seeing a therapist for about two years. She often used the analogy of the butterfly emerging from the cocoon during our sessions. As I struggled to process my mom’s suicide and specifically the feelings of complete guilt for my mom’s death, the image of a caterpillar in a cocoon waiting to emerge as a butterfly was my hope. I couldn’t see past the darkness I was experiencing, but I had hope that one day I would emerge and be a better person for the struggle.
Butterflies have continued to be a point of grounding for me in my life. Our wedding took place at a lakehouse in North Carolina. We had toured the house in the spring when everything was trimmed and pruned. Two days before the wedding, I was disappointed to see an unruly bush in between the patio and the yard. It had not previously been present in the spring. My frustration turned to pure joy on the day of the wedding. It turned out the unruly bush as a butterfly bush and our October wedding meant the migration of monarch butterflies. Once the winds calmed, we were surrounded by hundreds of remarkable butterflies on the day of our wedding. I felt not only the presence of my mom but also the goodness of life. I was reminded through suffering can come beauty.
Tonight as we were watching our new puppy play in the yard, my son pointed out the numerous butterflies in the yard. I couldn’t help but smile. I started to look for quotes on butterflies. I came across one by Mandy Hale that specifically spoke to me regarding our current situation in life: “A season of loneliness and isolation is when the caterpillar gets its wings. Remember that the next time you feel alone.”
My entire life, especially since my mom killed herself, has been one built on hope in life. I am sure much of it comes from the privilege I have experienced in my life, but I don’t believe hope is only reserved for those who are fortunate. I have actually learned the most about gratitude and finding hope from those in unthinkable situations (Viktor Frankl is one of my favorites).
I do have hope that the goodness of humanity is greater than the greed of a few. I hope this current situation will be a point when the winds calm, we all can come away being renewed realizing we can fly instead of crawl. If I lose this hope, I will have nothing. I will continue to hope and believe in the goodness of humanity. Humanity is not perfect, but together we can weather this storm and learn to fly.