butterflies

 

By Tanya Tiger

How do you explain to the people in your life that you’re not the same person you were all the years they have known you?

How do we explain this “you” that has gone through such a dramatic transformation in a way that will help the ones we love understand? How do we describe the new sensations, emotions, and zest for life that we’ve discovered along the way? Do we even have to explain all of this? Does anyone even care or are they too wrapped up in their own stuff?

I’m not entirely sure that I even know.

I think I don’t contain the adequate vocabulary to describe the intense unraveling and rebuilding that I have been through in the past two years. I can liken it to a caterpillar entering the chrysalis and being reborn a butterfly. The feeling of melting down to the most basic of materials, swimming in pain and confusion, knowing that this is what is meant to happen and yet, still experiencing the fear of the unknown: what will I be when this is all over? All of this followed by the struggle to break out of the cocoon and to wait—in a state of sheer vulnerability—for my wings to dry before I suddenly realize that I can, in fact fly.

How do we express this new found freedom and sense of self and purpose to another human being? I wish I could. I think they will learn more from experiencing this new me, versus me trying to talk to them about it. It’s not that they can’t comprehend the struggles I have been through or can’t relate to some of my experiences.

It is simply, or maybe profoundly, the fact that I feel different. No. I am different. I really and truly feel reborn and finally feel at home here, in this place, in this body, in this lifetime.

I am unsure of how to bring them along so my hope is that the love we share is the bond that will keep them in my life. I also know, on a deep Soul level, that not everyone who is currently in my life will need to or want to remain a part of my life. I also know, and feel, that this is OK; more than OK. It is all a part of my life’s journey, and theirs as well. The best I can do is explain some new insights I’ve had—a new way of being in this world. Maybe if people can accept this part of me, even if they don’t agree with some of it, then they can have a deeper understanding of who I am now.

I will do my best to explain how and why this journey has transformed me so vastly.

For much of my life I didn’t know, or maybe even care, why people, animals, plants, etc. existed. I went through my life knowing that all of this existed, that things are born and then they die and this is how life works. Raised Catholic, I had it all laid out before me and went along until one day the story didn’t make sense anymore. I lost my connection, or maybe I never had a real sense of connection, to a Higher Power.

I didn’t know what was real or who to believe. I was lost and confused. Science brought more questions than answers, as did the world’s religions and spiritual ideologies. After years of trying to find one that fit, I gave up on it all and let go of the hope of ever finding my way home—in the spiritual sense. Life went on and eventually I began to feel that longing again. A nagging sensation in my core told me that there was something deeper, something in me, in everyone and everything. I kept much of these new thoughts and feelings to myself. I experienced sensations, vibrations, an emotional onslaught in crowds, vivid and lucid dreams that carried amazing and sometimes terrifying messages, heard whispers and laughter from children who were not there, had electronic devices begin playing on their own to later find out they had no batteries, and a number of other odd incidents that could not be rationally explained.

I became fascinated with the paranormal and occult. I dug into anything that was outside the box and soaked up other people’s experiences. All of it helped me feel less alone but no more connected to a Divine Source than before. I was still very much lost in every sense of the word.

Fast-forward another decade and I’ve continued to experience things outside the norm. I would talk to people about it, but always sensed they thought it was all in my head. The longing for deeper meaning and purpose in my life called to me. I was a wife and mother now. My “normal” life took up all of my time and energy and my experiences, which I would later discover stemmed from my gifts, took a backseat. They lay dormant, along with my questions about God and Faith and Love and Purpose, until I was faced with the death of my daughter, Kristin.

I’ve written about this before so I won’t go into all of the details again. What I will share here though is this: the night Kristin died is when I entered the Chrysalis.

Her death became the catalyst for my rebirth and the power she unlocked in me—the fire she lit inside my Soul—the nearly electric shock to my system which felt like a total reboot; she did all of this. She ultimately reconnected me to my Higher Power and I give thanks to her every day for gifting me with this new-found relationship to the Divine. While I would give anything to have my sweet Krissy back, I have come to realize that she had bigger plans. Her life held so much meaning and she touched so many lives in her short 16 months on this planet. Krissy signed up for this mission, did what she needed to do, learned the lessons she needed to learn, taught the ones she needed to teach, delivered her message and then she went home. Her Soul gifted me a road map to find my Soul; the piece and I had been missing for so long. When I made my vow to her that night, to carry on the legacy she had birthed into this world, I awoke to the knowledge of my mission in this lifetime: Love. Love is my mission. I am meant to bring as much Love and healing as I can while I am here.

A mother should save her children. In this case, my child saved me.

After attending a retreat and being called to enter an Interfaith Ministry, I found myself wiggling inside my cocoon, preparing to break through to the other side. In November of 2015, one year and three months after Krissy’s death, I became me. This is what is difficult to convey. I still look like Tanya and sound like Tanya, but I am not the same Tanya that I was before.

The energy, almost electric, hums through my entire being. I see differently. I feel differently. I experience life differently. I see the miracle that is living. I can feel so much more and so much deeper than ever before. All of the gifts I had hidden away, forgotten about, or didn’t even realize that I had, came surging through me, into me. The connection to my Divine Beloved was not only forged, it has become the very foundation of who I am.

I can’t explain what the Divine is or means.

It is a very personal relationship that each of us has to discover for ourselves. It’s funny because the Divine is us and we are the Divine, no matter the name we assign to It. I plan to write more about this later. There’s so much to discuss! I wish I could show you all what I see when I look at each of you or the world around me. I wish I could convey the sheer Love and Light that I sense in each Soul. I guess this has become a part of my mission: to bring this awareness, of the Sacred in each of us, out into the light for all to see.

You see, I have come to realize that we all come into this life with a mission; a set of lessons that we need to learn. Before we arrive, we sign up for these missions and know exactly what we’re in for. The hardest part is once we arrive, we forget. We arrive in each life with a clean slate. I want to share more about this as well but I will save it for another day. My awakening to my mission arrived during the darkest period of my life. However, without that darkness I would not have been able to see the light. There’s so much more to share, so much more to explain and discuss. I’ll leave you with a heartfelt wish for each and every one of you to recognize your own light and to feel just how deeply loved, and never alone, you truly are.

Many Blessings… from my heart to yours.

Photo: (source)

Editor: Alicia Wozniak

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Tanya Tiger

Tanya Tiger, LCSW is a creative and fiery soul who dreams of a world where everyone is free to be their authentic selves. She has been writing, drawing, sculpting and otherwise flexing her creative muscles since she was a young child, often at the exasperation of her teachers but always with encouragement from her parents. Tanya recently found herself going through a major shift in the very foundation of her being. This shift happened when her youngest daughter, Kristin, died unexpectedly at the age of 16-months. Forced to face her greatest fear, Tanya chose to turn away from the shadows of anger and hatred that loomed and instead turned toward the light of love in her daughter’s honor. Tanya is married to her best friend and fellow artist.Together she and her husband are parents to an insanely funny little girl, who keeps their imaginations running at full force and effect with her larger than life personality.It is Tanya’s heartfelt hope to inspire people through her writing and to show that strength can be found in vulnerability, that a person can survive the worst kind of pain, and that there is always a choice when we are faced with tragedy.

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