I was introduced to a new concept recently “Pronoia”. Pronoia is the antidote for paranoia: how the whole world is conspiring to shower you with blessings. That certainly grabbed my attention!
Pronoia was introduced in a talk by Sarah Gledwyn from Spiritual Directors International (SDI) in the context of choosing to embrace the possibilities and the invitations that are presenting themselves to the world through the COVID shutdown, where we can be stronger and smarter and flip any painful moment into ‘What can I learn from this?’
In encouraging us to understand Transformation Sarah reminded us that God has given us the wisdom of the cycle in nature – that the sweet spot of transformation is to surrender to ‘this is how this is.’
There is no way back.
She used the example of the caterpillar: There is no way back for the caterpillar – its cycle began when a butterfly laid its eggs. Human common sense would tell us that a butterfly would emerge from an egg, but no! A caterpillar is born to eat copious amounts of exactly the type of leaf it was born onto. All it has to do is eat and grow strong and healthy before it enters the next phase of the cycle as a chrysalis. The chrysalis stage is one of the coolest stages of a butterfly’s life! From the outside it looks as if the caterpillar may just be resting, but the inside is where all the action is. Inside of the chrysalis, the old parts of the caterpillar are undergoing a remarkable transformation to become the beautiful parts that make up the butterfly that will emerge for the final stage of a butterfly’s life cycle.
We think that pain is the end for us but actually impermanence is a gift!
Death is not the end of the story. We have the wisdom of the cycle. Nature gives us the process.