They work through an identity crisis and take time out, psychologically speaking, for soul searching. Little by little, out of solitude grows a more resilient self, anchored in a revised set of core values and sense of peace, all the while challenged by new purpose and passion. 1
In this time of cocooning, we’ve felt vulnerable – to COVID, in our livelihoods, to differences that have divided relationships, to chaos and injustice in our neighborhoods and across the national and global landscape
And that sensitivity is characteristic of cocooning, when the caterpillar literally turns to goo and reforms her very identity. If she leaves too soon in the goo state, she will not survive. It’s an incredibly uncomfortable situation to be in this “neutral zone” in a world of do-ers and accomplishers who want to know what we’ve been up to – when in reality, we are staring out of the window wondering what the squirrels are thinking.
This collective cocooning is challenging us all to accept and allow for an internal transformation to take place. If we surrender to this uncomfortable place while we need it and use the time it takes to look inward – however long (and no one else can prescribe it for you!), we can emerge from our cocoon as a fully developed butterfly.
William Bridges in his book, “Transitions; Making Sense of Life’s Changes” offers frameworks to understand these changes we are undergoing. 2 He discusses the five “d”s we go through as we are letting go of our past identity and worldview including disengagement, dismantling, disidentification, disenchantment, and disorientation. As we fully feel and face the endings we are experiencing along with the loss and grief and fear, we enter into this unknown, uncertain place. Continue reading “People who cocoon come to terms with who they are without their previous roles dominating them”