How often do we want change, yearn for change, desperately see the need to change, but it doesn’t happen. There seem to be unbeatable resistances that go along with this yearning. How many times have Great Beings instructed us to learn to love and respect each other, yet we still have great difficulty in this area.
I came to community because I thought it would help me to change—to learn to love and to stop producing suffering. Let me tell you it was not a quick fix but I feel I’m definitely on the right track. I found the following quote, from The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community by David Korten, a helpful way of looking at the challenges and rewards of deep change.
"The story of the metamorphosis of the monarch caterpillar into the monarch butterfly, popularized by evolution biologist Elisabet Sahtouris is a great metaphor. The caterpillar is a voracious consumer that devotes its life to gorging itself on nature's bounty. When it has had its fill, it fastens itself to a convenient twig and encloses itself in a chrysalis. Once snug inside, it undergoes a crisis as the structures of its cellular tissue begin to dissolve into an organic soup.
Yet guided by some deep inner wisdom, a number of organizer cells begin to rush around gathering other cells to form imaginal buds, initially independent multicellular structures that begin to give form to the organs of a new creature. Correctly perceiving a threat to the old order, but misdiagnosing the source, the caterpillar's still intact immune system attributes the threat to the imaginal buds and attacks them as alien intruders.
The imaginal buds prevail by linking up with one another in a cooperative effort that brings forth a new being of great beauty, wondrous possibilities, and little identifiable resemblance to its progenitor. In its rebirth, the monarch butterfly lives lightly on Earth, serves the regeneration of life as a pollinator, and migrates thousands of miles to experience life's possibilities in ways the earthbound caterpillar could not imagine."
Community life connects to this metaphor. The work is mine but the environment is favorable for the transformation. I work together with my companions and we are in a larger group of souls working for the change as well. We are together to help us overcome the “immune system” of the old way of operating that tries to destroy our efforts to change. We inspire each other. For me, at least, that has led to some of the real and lasting changes I was yearning for.