Butterflies in the stomach. That feeling you get when you are nervous, or perhaps filled with trepidation. I tend to get them a lot and I used to dread the feeling, thus making the sensation all the more intense. It has been in the last two years or so, that I am starting to think about these butterflies in a different way. Instead of thinking about them in a negative way, I welcome them. I know that I care deeply. Deep breathing, jumping up and down, looking at someone I love, or closing my eyes and thinking of a favorite memory helps to calm the butterflies. In that moment, I try to let the butterflies free.
What gives you butterflies? How do you know when you care deeply? What helps you to let butterflies fly?
Here are some things that give me butterflies:
Entering a mini-triathlon at the beginning of the summer.
Admitting that I wanted to write a book.
Taking the summer off to write short stories to fulfill that dream of a book.
Giving my heart to someone and admitting I love them.
Teaching, I have been doing it for 10 years, I think I am good at it, and I get butterflies. Every. Single. Time.
Running a race, no matter how small and low my expectations are.
Sending a dear friend a draft of a story for critique and feedback. I just returned from the post office and I’m still full of butterflies as I type this.
Swimming the first lap, as it is a new endeavor for me, until I relax into the second and third laps and beyond.
Realizing that a half marathon I registered for is less than two months away and the training is going well.
Sending a text and waiting for a response.
Applying for a dream job.
Helping a stranger pick up their dropped items.
Going to a party or dance alone.
Making a list of things I am looking forward to this fall.
Being unsure of a big decision.
Knowing that I am not playing fair.
Writing this blog entry.
Going back to work in a few days.
Moving in with my sister again.
Admitting that I am wrong.
Apologizing with the intent to make true amends.
Worrying about not being able to measure up to a task.
Admitting fragility or sensitivity.
Providing emotional support for someone else.
Failing to come through on a promise.
Sometimes the butterflies remain. Sometimes they fly free. They tell me that I am living. Their presence lets me know that I care about myself, others, and the world. Their presence tells me that I have my heart in the right place. The butterflies tell me that I have something to look forward to, and something to do.They remind me of passion and participating fully in the world.
Welcome the butterflies. Set them free when you let yourself free into the world.