All relationships go through periods of transformation, sometimes accompanied by emotional discomfort or upset. During these times, problems and difficulties may become the primary focus. How a relationship emerges from a period of transformation depends to a large extent on how partners treat each other – and in what light they see problems, difficulties, or times of change.

The card TRANSFORMATION invites you to remember the butterfly. It starts by crawling around for months as a lowly caterpillar. Then it hibernates for months in its dark cocoon. But it finally emerges with glorious freedom of movement and magnificence in color. Who would have guessed that an earthbound caterpillar would someday fly so high or that out of a drab cocoon could come such vibrant colors?

The results of transformation can defy normal beliefs and expectations. We cannot know in advance how things will turn out, yet during times of change, we often fall prey to negative thoughts. We may view problems and difficulties as a sign that something is “wrong” with our relationship or with each other. Seen this way, problems can upset us or become reasons to withdraw. We are brought down to the level of caterpillars, reduced to crawling, blind to the big picture or the positive options we could see if we were flying above.

When you are in a period of difficulty, this card suggests that you shift the way you view it. All difficulties have within them the seeds for positive transformation. Instead of dwelling on the undesirability of a problem, accept that things are the way they are. Explore what the situation can teach you. Find the positive opportunity that is hidden within it – perhaps the opportunity to learn something important about relating. Learn something that may transform for the better how you relate to others – both now and in the future.

Unfortunately, few of us normally say, “Thank goodness for this period of transformation! I’m so lucky it came along to show me what I need to learn next.” Instead, we usually blame other people for causing a situation and the discomfort or difficulty we may be experiencing with it.

If you blame others, you are reduced to crawling around with the limited view of a caterpillar. But the cocoon is a vital stage of growth, too. So, rather than blaming your partner, you might benefit more by going inward for a while. Spend some time in the quiet of your own cocoon. Contact your deeper emotions and beliefs. Ask yourself, “What can I let go of, learn, or do differently in how I relate to others? What is it that keeps me crawling about in the same old way?”

The card TRANSFORMATION asks you to embrace periods of difficulty, stress, or change. Look at such times not just with apprehension, but with positive curiosity as well. Turn toward the unknown. Feel deeply, learn deeply – and from that place, deeply let go. Face your inner darkness, and transform the emotional obstacles you encounter into new meeting grounds for intimacy. Emerging from the cocoon of transformation, you give your relationship a chance to sprout colorful wings – wings that will carry you forward and enable you to discover that sweet nectar from the blossoming flower of fulfillment.