The Chameleon and The Butterfly

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These two would be an odd couple if paired together and honestly the chameleon would eat the butterfly, so that’s not really where we are going in this comparison. Not only are they very different as far as species goes, there are also some very profound differences in their development from conception to adulthood.

Let us consider here some of the very key characteristics of each one. Those differences are so unique that they are profound and worth taking into account. We should, for all intents and purposes, skip over the obvious and move straight to the point.

First, the Chameleon has the ability to change its appearance to match the surroundings in its environment. So strange a feat yet, it is what ultimately allows it to survive. If it cannot be seen, it cannot be eaten. Apparently they are quite tasty to birds and other animals. In the animal kingdom survival is the key.

The Butterfly, on the other hand also uses camouflage, but mostly in its second developmental phase as the larvae or caterpillar. The Caterpillar spends and inordinate amount of time devouring leaves. So for the most part it is the same color as the leaves, but not always. Apparently caterpillars can be quite nasty tasting in some cases so that also helps them to be left alone.

From many different species, genus, families, orders classes, phylum, kingdoms and domains there are many similarities that ring true in principle and can transcend the order set forth in differentiating among the creatures on Earth. Nature is a great gift that we as humans will do well in preserving, because it is the interaction of all of these phenomena that makes life in general possible. We also do well in preserving one another, because there is always a part of us that is dead if we are not social.

However, for our point here the two differences that we will pin point is that; 1) the Chameleon changes color to blend in with its environment; and 2) The Butterfly goes through three distinct stages of development and undergoes a very dramatic change that we seldom see elsewhere in the world in general.

Many people can mimic the characteristic of changing (not their color so to speak) but their personality to fit in with their surroundings. Human behavior is so complex that it would be impossible to cover the more specific dynamics for this purpose, but to make the point; many people do this to survive socially.

There are people who in fact may not have a true identity of their own because they must change in so many ways in so many different settings. This is a tragedy. We have been created uniquely as have many other species. However, survival in social circles is critical to our being. As with many other species we are social creatures. Cultural, socio-economic, familial, educational and environmental factors merge with our genetics and sometimes the song that emerges is of tragedy and sometimes it is a symphony. Having said that, our intelligence and ability to transform ourselves can transcend such barriers and as a human being we can have tremendous power over our life.

Secondly, let us consider the butterfly. The butterfly starts out as a caterpillar and through one of the most unique and stupefying feats enters a cocoon and emerges an altogether different looking creature than the one it started out as.

When we parallel the life of the butterfly to our own lives, we can make the association to our own path in life. We may start out in life as something we did not choose to be, in a place we wouldn’t want to be and in situations and circumstances that we wouldn’t choose, even if somehow we may have some type of reward for putting ourselves there on purpose.
However, there is something greater to observe, that is, what the butterfly will become is what it will become. No one can stop that process. If we as humans interfere with the butterfly’s developmental process it will die. We would do well in taking this to heart when dealing with our fellow man. Left to nature the butterfly will emerge a beautiful winged creature that spreads those wings once it emerges from its pupa. In fact the wings must be spread to dry. If that process is impeded the butterfly will have crumpled wings and will not be able to fly dooming it to death as well.

Finally, Each one of us has a path, a developmental process that we must go through and emerge from. At any point along that path it would do us well to remember that we are all on that path and do even better to not interfere with another’s development; just as we should have the courtesy to develop unencumbered. As the human race, if we think about these points we can become aware of these processes in our fellow men and allow and encourage a person’s path and development. There are many crushed and broken souls in this world. But, those souls have hope as they have not yet emerged and can enter into their pupa and heal. While encased in a protective coating that is unaffected by the outside world the can receive healing and change. Once made whole that person can emerge spread their wings and fly into their destiny. Unlike the butterfly, we may have several of these pupa stages in our lives. It is our healing; it is our solace form the world around us.

The story of the butterfly is so beautiful and the parallel to our human path so profound.
If you are wounded and hurting build your pupa and heal. Decide that you will be what you were created to be. When you emerge and your wings have dried know that once you can fly you can easily escape many troubles that may come your way. Not only that, you can move about unencumbered by the inhabitants of the ground, the earth dwellers, soul killers and beasts. As you fly high in the air soaring in your destiny your freedom will be apparent to everyone. Just as we may catch a glimpse of a butterfly passing by our own way and marvel at its beauty, let us encourage and comfort one another in healing and developing into being all we were created to be. Let us marvel at the sight of our own soaring and do the same for others.

You can be a chameleon, ever changing and never knowing who you truly are eating up and all the caterpillars and various creatures. Or you can choose to become a butterfly. The most important concept to remember is that you are the one who has that power. Don’t give that power away to anyone else; guard it as you would your most precious belonging because it is. We only have one life to live. Spread your wings and fly butterfly for the entire world to see.

Happy Anyway

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I find myself sitting here, thinking… thinking… thinking…
I am trying to figure out what I should write about today. I am not inspired to write anything. I am thinking about writing about Change… but it is not really striking me over the head.
I have been busy, busy, busy lately. Sunday I worked on “The Gratitude Stone Project”. I ended up with a 4 page power point presentation that I posted up on the website. (www.unital.weebly.com)
I have spent many days working to gain blog followers and I am finding that dry and repetitive. I follow 160 blogs last time I looked and I only have less than 40 that follow me. I get it people are busy. I have encountered some really great blogs. There are some very talented people in this world. There are also people who are hurting, drowning in this world, clambering to find their way to some sense of peace and happiness.
When I wrote my piece on happiness one person wrote me stating that sometimes we are in such a state of disarray that just making the decision to be happy was far too little to change what needs changing in their life. I agree. The road is hard to travel at times. Sometimes maybe all we can do is take a break, sit on the side of the road and catch our breath while watch all the others pass us by, if there happen to be any going our way.
As I think about what I can write that will be witty, insightful or empowering and something that will draw people to my blog, I can’t think of anything today. That is more frustrating than anything.
It is however possible that I am wasting my time in the first place. Writing may not be about always writing something that to will strike the hearts, minds and emotions of my readers. It may not be about what makes me appear to be so talented, and intelligent or important. It, for me may not be about writing a blog and having people follow it.
My pet project, which is to build my non-profit, is hitting me as a difficult task. Sometimes it seems like many people don’t care about what is out there in the real world. I suppose I can’t truly blame them. When you think of those things you end up with stories such as “Dear Jane” (www.unital.blogspot.com): which is heart wrenching, sad and despicable that our society allows such things in my estimation. No one can think about that type of stuff all the time.
Since I have worked not only in Child Welfare Services but also in Mental Health, I am all too aware of what the realities are of the people in that population. Poverty is an ugly monster. Due to our economic problems more and more people are joining the ranks every day. Not having the money that you need to do even the basic things you need to do is saddening. When there are things that you so desperately want to do it is maddening.
I was thinking last night about my vision for a homeless shelter which I’ve had for 13 years. I don’t even have a home myself… and I am thinking about how I can build a place for 500 people. The dream… I believe everyone has one or had one. How many people have given up on their dream I wonder.
I used to think my dream was going to college and getting this really great job taking care of mentally ill people and helping them. The reality of the system came crashing down on my head many years ago. I have been disillusioned by the reality of the system, which is why I refuse to be a part of it any more. That is why I am committing the rest of my life to; “…build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” — Richard Buckminster Fuller
But, with that, my job possibilities go right out the window with it; my $96,000 degree good for… I don’t know. I could have been a doctor for that amount of money I think.
I have worked enough years to know that this system is a waste of time, of money and is wasting the lives of those who had once been like me, a person who really wanted to help people. The sense of responsibility kicks in at some point. It’s not what you think either. It is the responsibility of paying the bills, paying for the house, the car, the credit cards, buying food so your children don’t starve. It is going to work not because you love it anymore, but it’s because if you don’t everything will fall apart. I understand why people are the way they are for the most part. I get it.
What is worse is when you get sick and cant’ pay all those bills anymore. You lose everything you worked for. I mean everything. It’s all Gone; my house that I loved, my car that I loved and the things that I loved. I live with my son now, in a tiny little apartment. I envy my dog. Her only care, I think, is if someone will pet her and play with her, which we all do. She is blissfully unaware of anything. Heck, I don’t know what she thinks. But, she lays curled up on her pillow as I write. I am sure of this, for her nothing has changed.
I chuckle at myself when I consider that. I think we like to imagine what our animals must think. I’m glad she can’t think or talk, maybe she would gripe me out because I lost her blanket or something.
In considering all of this, I have decided to be happy anyway. No money: happy anyway. No car: happy anyway, ride the bus. No place of my own: happy anyway. No food today: go to the food bank, happy anyway. Boring day: happy anyway. Feeling kind of down: happy anyway. WHY? Because there is a principle (remember form Cole’s Treasure) that I am the only one who can change my life or my reaction to it. I have been depressed, I have been unhappy, I have cried for days, I have screamed, thrown stuff and spent an unpleasant 72 hours locked up for being erratic, depressed, weary and at the end of myself. Ok, well things are tough but believe me, I’m taking The Be Happy Anyway Road because things aren’t that bad compared to all that.
I love it when I have really creative moments and I can make something or write something powerful that I know will touch people’s lives. Today is not one of those days: happy anyway.
I have a vision. To help; and I don’t mean red tape, government bull that bogs you down and ties your hands behind your back while you wrestle with the red tape, but really HELP. To have a home where people will feel loved and like they matter. You know many people didn’t grow up like that? I won’t even get into some of the horrors that people survive. I want to educate people as to what they can have if they dare to dream and learn how to persevere the dry spells. I want to help people find what they are good at and encourage them to go for it. We all have that something we are good at, I don’t care who you are. If you feel like you don’t, think about what you love and then figure out a way to make money doing it. That is an old adage; find out what makes you happy then find a way to make money doing it. I want to see people come off the streets, get cleaned up and washed up and put on a clean pair of clothes. Do you ever think of that sometimes? Have you ever noticed how nice it feels to take a nice hot shower and put on a clean pair of clothes? It is wonderful, isn’t it?
There are so many misconceptions that I believe people have. I was straight up scared of homeless people before I worked at the Crisis Unit and before I stayed in the shelter. Do you know there is a big difference between Street People and those that are in homeless shelters? The difference is primarily two things; one, they are aware that there is a shelter to go to, but refuse to do so; and two they are so profoundly ill or so far steeped into addiction that they can’t go. Few of those people end up in a shelter abiding by the rules and working toward a better future.
I suppose that people can get used to just about everything including living on the streets. But, that doesn’t mean that everyone doesn’t deserve a chance. I know I will never help everyone because some people don’t want to be helped. That is fine. Sometimes I don’t want to be helped either. But, for the ones that do want help and just can’t seem to figure it all out, I will be there.
I am not sure what tomorrow holds for me either. I have a lot of rods in the fire, so to speak, I am hoping something will work out one way or another. It is days like today that are hard. I can’t preoccupy myself, I have no ideas flowing and I think about all the things I want to and need to do, but I can’t get there, not today.
But my vision keeps calling me, reminding me that I have a direction that I am heading. I have a place where I am going. I don’t exactly know how I am going to get there, but I know I will get there. My job is to put one foot in front of the other, to keep writing and refining the dream, until I meet up with my destination. I am determined to be happy no matter what and to move forward even when I don’t know exactly which direction to move in.

Introducing United In Truth and Love’s First Project The Gratitude Stone

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Oh my Gosh such a long day of work today…. I am really pooped. However, I have absolutely fabulous news. The first of UNITAL’s Gratitude Stones have hit the market. You can find our listing on EBAY or on our website…
Thank you for your support. The proceeds from these items go to help the lost and hurting homeless population that are living in a homeless shelter.

Did You Know?????

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Did you know that those who appear to be really strong, really are the most sensitive…Did you know that those who spend all their time protecting others sometimes really need someone to protect them? Did you know that three of the hardest things to say are: I love you, I’m sorry and Help me! Put as your status if you agree… Some will, most wont.
This is from my new friend Rae. Of course FB won’t let you type anything over 250 characters; I decided to put this on my blog to address this.
I am strong, because I am sensitive. I care and protect because I need to be cared for and protected. I don’t do this so someone will do that for me; but in a strange way when I focus on helping others all those needs don’t seem to be as blurring in my mind.
I still have great trouble asking for help. I will tell you why. I have gone to doctors, therapists and others stating that I needed help. I couldn’t get it unless I paid for it, which without an income, well, it’s not gonna happen. When someone asks me for help, I know they must need it or they wouldn’t have asked because it is hard to ask. I won’t be the one to say, “Sorry. There’s nothing I can do”. I hate that for our world, our society. The only thing I will be held accountable for is what I did, what I didn’t do, whether I turned my back or was too (whatever) to be able to care.
Saying I’m sorry still sucks, cause I like to be right. It has just been over the last few years that I have realized how imperfect I really am and that’s helps me to look past others failing s as well.
We are on this WONDERFUL journey of life. It is not the destination that is truly important but it is the journey along the way that counts most.
Thanks for inspiring this most grave introspection. It is always good to look within and feel our lives not just run from place to place doing our lives.

Animals

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June 26th, 2011

I don’t really know exactly what it is about animals that make me love them so very much. All I know is that I have had many dogs, cats, horses, a burro, a sheep and rabbits.
When I was a child animals were my best friends. I lived a difficult childhood and my father was very strict. He prohibited me from having “friends” but I made them on my own with the animals in my life.
When I lived in Oklahoma earlier this year I didn’t have my dog with me. Her name is Jamaica. I found her out in front of where I worked about 5 years ago. This cute little puppy that just had to give kisses. She is also kind of an odd looking dog. I had never seen a dog like her before. I learned later that she is a Papillion Chihuahua. She has the sweetest face. When I cry she always tries to lick all the tears away.
She has been my companion through thick and thin these last 5 years. When I didn’t have her near I missed her just as much as I did my kids. When she finally saw me again it was right back to being attached to my hip, so to speak. She really didn’t seem to notice that I had been gone for nearly a year. It seemed like to her, I was here yesterday and back today. She sleeps with me every night cuddled up in my arms. She is the sweetest Dog I have ever had. My daughter named her Jamaica, something to do with a Bratz movie she was watching at the time. But, the name suits her or maybe she became the name. Animal’s personalities are often so unique and special.
I think sometimes about how much I will miss her when she is gone. I often think of kind of weird things, like “should I have her stuffed?” or maybe cremated and wear her ashes in a vile around my neck. I suppose all people really love their pets. Maybe it’s not so kooky to keep a part of her with me always.
For now we just enjoy each other’s company. We sit together, eat together and she is always at my feet when I am working on my writing. I will enjoy her company for as long as I can and never forget her when she is gone.