The lesson of the butterfly

This past year, we have all experienced so much loss and experienced so much grief — in relationships, through sickness and death, from mental illness or abuse, because of finances, even due to the need for healthy change.

It is good to honor those shifts, to fully feel them, so that we can let go of what needs surrendered, and remember what is worthy of our love and gratitude.

(Part of the #reverb blogging challenge).

2013 has certainly been a year of change for me, and I am fortunate that it falls under the category of “the need for healthy change” rather than loss or grief. When I think about this year, I like to think of it like this:

ButterflyWhen I was in the thick of change, it certainly didn’t feel like there would ever be a butterfly moment. Now that I can look back from a healthy distance, I can see that I am a better person today than I would have been if I hadn’t hit that low.

I realise  now that I don’t want to go back to being the happy Amy of years back, I want to be the new and improved Amy that understands when someone says they’re struggling, that genuinely knows how that feels,  and is proof that you can come out the other side. I don’t take happiness for granted, I don’t expect it to come looking for me, I know that it is something to be cultivated and cherished. Sometimes it will sometimes disappear, just as it will come back. I just have to trust in the process.

I was lucky, I had people to help me through this, to help me transform (and keep transforming, learning to unfold my wings). No-one, however much they wanted to, could take away the pain, but they were there for me, believing in me. Writing this reminds me of a story I read earlier this week:

The lesson of the butterfly

A man spent hours watching a butterfly struggling to emerge from its cocoon. It managed to make a small hole, but its body was too large to get through it. After a long struggle, it appeared to be exhausted and remained absolutely still.

The man decided to help the butterfly and, with a pair of scissors, he cut open the cocoon, thus releasing the butterfly. However, the butterfly’s body was very small and wrinkled and its wings were all crumpled.

The man continued to watch, hoping that, at any moment, the butterfly would open its wings and fly away. Nothing happened; in fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its brief life dragging around its shrunken body and shrivelled wings, incapable of flight.

What the man – out of kindness and his eagerness to help – had failed to understand was that the tight cocoon and the efforts that the butterfly had to make in order to squeeze out of that tiny hole were Nature’s way of training the butterfly and of strengthening its wings.

Sometimes, a little extra effort is precisely what prepares us for the next obstacle to be faced. Anyone who refuses to make that effort, or gets the wrong sort of help, is left unprepared to fight the next battle and never manages to fly off to their destiny.

(Adapted from a story sent in by Sonaira D’Avila)

We all have our own battles to face and changes to make, we just have to trust in the process…

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4 thoughts on “The lesson of the butterfly

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  1. Love your butterfly story! I agree completely. I plan to keep morphing the rest of my life. It keeps me going. How wonderful to leave the old and head out for what’s new! Congratulations for being so present on your adventurous journey!

  2. I’m glad you liked it Kat, it seemed spooky that I read that story this week, it really stuck in my mind and then along came your post. When things are bad I would do anything for someone to take my anxiety away, but it is true that we grow stronger (and more beautiful!) by working our own way out. Thank you so much for your #reverb13 challenge, and I’m so glad to have met you xx

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