One day a man saw a butterfly shuddering on the sidewalk. It was locked in a seemingly helpless struggle to free itself from its now useless cocoon.
Feeling pity, he took a pocket knife and carefully cut away the cocoon to set the butterfly free.
To his dismay, it lay on the sidewalk and convulsed weakly for a while then died.
A biologist later told him, “That was the worst thing you could have done. A butterfly needs that struggle to develop the muscles to fly. By robbing him of the struggle, you made him too weak to live.”
What I love about this story is that it speaks about empowerment, strength, and building character. When we think of struggle, many of us only see how bad our circumstances are. If we only see our present circumstances, we lose hope and stand still, not realizing that a beautiful transformation is waiting on the other side. There have been times in my life where I experienced major losses and major gains. As much as I miss the great things I had in a previous lifetime; gaining it all back plus some after working my tail off and knowing how to honor my gifts, will make this victory even sweeter.
It is through struggle that we find strength we never knew rested dormant inside. We soon find that our will to survive kicks into hyper drive. It is our driving force that enables us to explore where we come from, understand that our present is temporary, while we act on our vision for a better tomorrow.
What speaks to you about this piece? Do you think that if you didn’t work to get all that you’ve accomplished, life would seem meaningless, maybe kind of boring?
I am not sure my life would feel meaningless or boring if I didn’t have the struggle, but I am sure I am a stronger, wiser, more loving person because of my own struggles.
Feeling growing pains in my own life has led me to a deep compassion for humanity.
I think I appreciate the little things so much more, and have a more complex understanding of joy because of my understanding of really painful stuff. In other words, I can find such joy and satisfaction in an uneventful day that others may very well call boring. I guess I live in the present much more, all due to the appreciation I have for calm moments – because I know what it is like when life is not calm, I’ve felt that and lived it so I am grounded much more.
I think if I didn’t work so hard to get what I have accomplished, I wouldn’t understand what it means to have appreciation for the good in my life. I think I would take people for granted more because I wouldn’t know any better. I also wouldn’t see the importance of play, and laughter, and being loving…
I think it is true we must all struggle out of our cocoons in life, in order to be strong enough to fly.
Hi AlmostClever, thanks for commenting! I agree, knowing what I know now, I most certainly would never be bored or feel life is meaningless. There’s so much life to explore. Unfortunately, I know many people who are “bored to tears” with their lives. They wander around aimlessly, with wilderness mentality, and I wonder if they will ever feel the need to even build their cocoon.