Live, Learn, Grow and Fly …
“Truth is not some ever elusive enigma. Nor, is it a daunting expedition up a mountain top of lies. Truth is the radiant sun that brings warmth to a cold winter’s day. By the simplest of will to open our eyes, the light shines upon the dark painted illusion of deceit shattering its hold. For it is only by truth that one can be set free to fly.” -Kathy Ioannou the IronButterfly
IronButterfly is the on mission identity and moniker I use in producing original written works. IronButterfly Wisdom (IBW) is a division of Butterfly Rising Productions, LLC that includes various compilations of writings to encourage others to reflect, explore, grow and rise up to greater heights of self. Ultimately, to serve something greater than self.
Birth of the IronButterly had its humble beginnings that took form in 2006 when a major life-altering event occurred. It was one that came unexpectedly and without warning. I suddenly found myself lost and alone in a dark abyss of the unknown.
A betrayal that goes beyond words was exposed on January 12th of 2006. Everything I had believed about my life with certainty for the last nineteen years came into question. After succumbing to the shock and despair, I realized there was an important choice to be made. Give up and end this life, continue to trudge through it as a victim or find a way to rise up out of the darkness to become a victor.
The Making of an IronButterfly
As I tried to put the shattered pieces of what was left of me and my life back together, I set forth on a quest to seek truth, knowledge and greater understanding. It was accompanied by a resolute refusal to give up despite the intense emotional pain, devastating loss and vast darkness of the unknown that my life had become. I pondered the possibility that there might be some kind of a bigger picture; a reason, a purpose. A greater understanding at a higher level that would bring things into focus and make sense out of this experience called life.
I started each day not knowing how I would even manage to make it through the next hour. Every minute felt like an eternity of suffering. In a moment of reflection, I realized that just because I couldn’t see, touch or explain something, didn’t mean that it was not in existence. So, I opened my mind to the possibility of something greater than what I thought I already knew. That there might in fact be a bigger picture and purpose for life, the hardships and the painful experiences. I was determined to find whether it existed and what it is.
While on the journey, I did in fact discover an immeasurable amount of truth, knowledge and greater understanding that ultimately led to wisdom. It developed a new-found strength (the iron) combined with being made anew (butterfly) that released me from the grips of darkness of my past. I refused to allow the wrongdoings of others or difficulties of the past to rob the joy, peace and purpose of my future. Everything began to change the moment I opened my mind to the possibility of something greater than what I already thought I knew. This willingness to get out of my own way coupled with a genuine desire to seek the highest truth and receive it led me on an amazing journey. I stopped having to crawling through life, because I learned how to fly.
Invaluable insights, growth lessons and life tools were gained through this transformation process that I refer to as an "evolution of self." Just as the caterpillar evolves into a butterfly; starts out crawling throughout life until it discovers the gift and freedom of flight. Growth and change do not occur without effort. Divine intervention does not occur without human interaction. Each of us has a responsibility of self to grow, discover the best of what we were meant to be and live our highest self. In 2009 I accepted the higher calling and personal mission to help others by sharing the wisdom gained on my quest for truth, knowledge and greater understanding. This mission became known as "IronButterfly Wisdom." Sharing the lessons of how to live, learn, grow and fly. It is my heartfelt desire to reach out to others and help them rise up out of the darkness. As a writer, it is not only a joy, but an honor to share this gift and journey with all of you.
IronButterfly Theme: Caterpillar-to-Butterfly
IronButterfly projects have a caterpillar-to-butterfly concept that serves as a central theme due to its representation of growth, change and rebirth— resulting in immense beauty with the remarkable gift and new freedom of flight.
Each battle fought and won throughout life results in the vibrant colors, markings and stripes of courage that adorn our newfound wings. When we encounter difficult challenges, it is not meant for our harm, but for our growth. Obstacles in life are not hindrances, they arrive as opportunities to push our existing limits so that we can learn and grow. We aren't meant to just grow up and grow old. Our purpose is far greater. We are meant to grow wise. To gain truth, knowledge and greater understanding not just for ourselves, but to better the lives of others.
The “Caterpillar Phase” is when we crawl around day in and day out merely existing. The “Cocoon Phase” is the transformation and learning process. During this time, we are confined by our existing knowledge. There is an undesired sense of discomfort and fear as we are challenged to grow, change and journey into the unknown. The “Butterfly Phase” is the state of freedom resulting from of our willingness to evolve from our current state. To live, learn, grow and fly is to be transformed by change.
When we try to run or hide from the pain and struggles of life, we only become a prisoner to it. We are stuck reliving the misery in different forms and cannot move forward. There is no way around the pain and struggles of life, we must develop and learn how to break through it. When we choose to embrace difficulties, obstacles and challenges (seeing them as an opportunity for our growth), it brings light into those dark places. Darkness dissipates when exposed to light. The two cannot exist in the same space.
It is in the willingness to take on the struggle and pursuit to break free that develops the strength we need to be set free. To escape the prison walls that were holding us back in life. Just as it is with the caterpillar-to-butterfly. It is the fight and struggle to break free from the cocoon that develops its wings; giving them the necessary strength to rise up and fly. To have undeveloped wings (wings without strength) leaves us stuck where we are; left to wither away in a place of unfilled destiny.
Growth and change are often difficult and at times very painful. Life presents each of us experiences that are good, bad and indifferent. Yet, every experience provides an opportunity to learn something new and grow. Struggles, challenges and obstacles are the kind of opportunities that exercise our wings to develop strength as we find ways to manage and overcome.
Every time we discover how to rise up (use our wings) and shine on (share our light), we become victors instead of being victims of circumstances. It is then we gain a mastery of self and ability to live a fulfilled and happy life. And, it is then, we need to pay it forward by sharing our light in this world to bring hope and help others find their way.
Rise up and shine on, my friends!
With much love and appreciation to all,
Kathy the IronButterfly