Editor’s note: This is part 1 of a two-part feature written by Joey Gloor, a trainer who appeared on MTV’s hit show “I Used To Be Fat.”
The metamorphosis of a butterfly exemplifies the limitless possibilities that are still available for us regardless of our current state. Now that we are old enough to have witnessed this wonder of science, we must learn (or perhaps relearn) how to be inspired by it.
Let’s reexamine our lives as we reconsider the story of the hungry caterpillar. Essentially, a caterpillar’s only purpose for movement is to feed. All they do is eat and grow- up to 100 times their original size! They grow so rapidly they shed their outer layer of skin up to 5 times in two weeks.
In consumerist culture, our manhood is marked by our ability to consume everything this world has to offer. Pop culture envies the man who has won the most fights, bought the most stuff, screwed the most women (that should sound vulgar, because it is), drank the most beer, and gained the most “likes.” Whether it’s wrath, greed, lust, gluttony or vanity, every time we fill ourselves with such pleasures, we remain unsatisfied. What’s worse is we shed part of ourselves with every new addiction.
When caterpillars reach a point of overconsumption, they sluggishly find a safe place to hide. The slug wraps itself in a self-absorbed blanket until it’s completely hidden. The once fuzzy creature loses its identity and begins to fall apart. The mind and body disintegrate rapidly. At this point, the caterpillar is alive but not living. Every part of its old self is gone and underneath there’s nothing but a mushy mess. Many of us have felt this lost. Some of us feel that way right now.
However, there is hope. Would-be failures like caterpillars secretly carry untapped potential: Embryonic cells designed for new life have been lying dormant inside the caterpillar since it was a baby. It is not until the caterpillar reverts to its humblest condition that it can begin to form its lasting identity.
Such is the case with our own stubbornness. We often require complete brokenness before we’re open to complete transformation. I’ve never met a guy who pulled over and asked for directions the moment he got lost. It usually takes a good amount of despair before we’re willing to seek what we really need. Especially when we realize we need more than just a point in the right direction, but a brand new destination.
Our transformation often requires a whole new set of goals pursued by a whole new heart.
Transformation means entirely new. Caterpillars do not morph one structure into another, but rather change into an entirely new structure at the molecular level! That’s crazy science! The butterfly has no characteristics that compare with its old self. The transformation has changed the way the insect looks, smells, sees, hears, and lives. In essence, it is born twice. No matter how bleak our existence may appear, we too can be born again and live life as our true selves. TRANSFORMATION IS POSSIBLE. We only need the bravery to surrender everything and the steadfastness to change everything- for good. #goodguyswag
Note from the author: If you need help changing your life, try talking to God…and keep trying. Then find a good guy, like a pastor, teacher, or counselor to be at your side.
Bonus true science fact: The Monarch butterfly flies as far as the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico, a distance of about 2,000 miles only to return to the north again in the spring. That’s one heck of a bug!
Read Part 1