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Truly Julie: Beauty For Ashes

Something is changing within me. It's almost as if someone has flipped a switch. I have out grown the space in which I live. I know that change is both inevitable and impossible. Yet I find myself compelled by an inner genetic code that this is the time to make significant, life-changing decisions. It's like the caterpillar making her journey to just the right position because she knows that change must come. That is the way it is for me. I have a sense of knowing that my time has come and that I need to fully participate and cooperate with this deepening, refining, and liberating moment in my life.

Growth is never easy but the transition can be smooth or turbulent. At least a part of that is for me to decide. It’s time I leave worthless things behind – weights and unnecessary burdens, and thoughts that have hindered me as they make their continuous cycle in my mind.  Yesterday I had such an authentic moment where who I really am just appeared and it was a revelation. Like the caterpillar making her metamorphosis into a beautiful butterfly, my transformation is destined to take place. And I want to grow upward into the next level available to me. Like that butterfly, I want to break free from my fears, insecurities and everything that rises against my desire to live a good and healthy life.  I’m ready to shed this cocoon because it is full of useless ideas about myself that hurt me and limit my ability to function at my highest potential. Its not healthy for me to think that I am not good enough, smart enough, strong enough, pretty enough, intelligent enough, loved enough or gifted enough.

In these last few months I have had to push against that tough cocoon that surrounded me. I was wrapped up in my old patterns and problems and I knew I had to get out to save my life.  I realized just yesterday that one of the reasons I am called to help others when they are in desperate situations is because they are stuck just like I was or still am. Helping someone else get set free is sometimes a lot easier than setting myself free.  

If human hands were to help the butterfly by cutting her out of the cocoon, her wings would be drooped and unable to take flight. Even with divine help we each seem to have to push through our own barriers, shed our old selves and let go of our ashes if we truly want the beauty that comes when we do.  The bible says that God wants to give us "beauty for ashes." Ashes are all those useless things in my life that no longer serve a life-giving purpose.  

With all these revelations and opportunities for growth I remembered that my tree guy Roger had just told me the week before that I had nine dead ash trees and we’d need to cut them down soon or they could fall without warning and perhaps cause some damage.  I called him immediately and we arranged for him to come over and remove all my dead ashes.

He came late in the day with his helper, a bucket truck, and a chipper. I watched from my upstairs window as one after another he started at the top and carefully cut down every single dead tree. As the pile of logs (ashes) got larger I was practically drooling with the anticipation of liberation from my cocoon as I forfeited all those ashes for even a glimpse of the beauty within my reach.