I love butterflies. I love the symbolism of a butterfly, especially as a sign of resurrection, but for the purpose of today’s musing, I’m referring to that fluttering you sometimes get in the pit of your stomach. When I’m facing something different, something out of the ordinary, or a situation where people are expecting a lot of me, my stomach knots up and then fills with butterflies that will just not be still. They occur without exception before I conduct a wedding and even more so before a funeral. I get butterflies before I set off on holiday, before significant meetings and I always used to get them before I walked into a circuit class at the gym! In fact, on occasion, so anxious have I about stepping into the studio for the class, and so strong the butterfly sensation, that I have been known to restart my car and go home!
Butterflies or nerves, in many situations, can be good for us. As a trained singer, I know that they can help keep us sharp, focussed and on our toes, but they can equally be totally debilitating.
In the excerpt I’ve posted from ‘Secrets behind the collar’ this week, I recall the totally debilitating butterflies that accompanied the second round of EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing therapy) last summer. In this situation, the butterflies were completely out of control and not at all helpful, in fact just the opposite, they were the total manifestation of decades of anxiety – years of keeping a secret suppressed.