The Story of the Butterfly
A man found a cocoon of a butterfly. One day a small opening appeared. He sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to squeeze its body through the tiny hole. Then it stopped, as if it couldn’t go further.
So the man decided to help the butterfly. He took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bits of cocoon. The butterfly emerged easily but it had a swollen body and shriveled wings.
The man continued to watch it, expecting that any minute the wings would enlarge and expand enough to support the body. Neither happened! In fact the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around. It was never able to fly.
What the man in his kindness and haste did not understand was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle was required by the butterfly to get through the opening and was a way of forcing the fluid from the body into the wings so that it would be ready for flight once that was achieved.
Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our lives. Going through life with no obstacles would cripple us. We would not be as strong as we could have been and we would never be able to fly.
At one point in my life, it seemed as if no matter what I was going through, friends and family would constantly say to me, “Well, you know what they say, when one door closes, God opens a window.” I used to think that was such a cliché. When doors in my life closed, they slammed. And on top of that, it seemed that I would be gasping for air before God would even crack a window let alone open one. Maybe it was the lack of oxygen over the years, but now I can truly say I know better.
The painful situations in our lives are blessings. No, they don’t feel like blessings at the time. I admit; they suck! But if you think back on your life, your most valuable and important lessons came through some kind of pain. We all like to be happy, but let’s face it, what do you really learn when you are happy? It is the pain and struggle in our lives that moves us forward and sets us free…every time!
Look at your life right now and instead of avoiding the pain, as we so often do, face it. Take the challenge head on and allow the experience to unfold. Whether it is a loss of a job, a break up, a death, a move (cough, cough), or even simply a physical pain; FEEL IT! I know it sounds crazy but for once let yourself feel the pain. What you find out is that the pain is worse in your head than it is in actuality. Allowing yourself to feel the pain is what sets you free to move to the next phase of your life. Avoiding it doesn’t make it go away; it allows it to grow and become even more painful. Your perception is your reality and when something sits in your head long enough it grows, and grows, and grows. Keep your eyes forward; don’t look back. When you stay here in the present you are never sad or in pain. It is only when we are past-reliving or future-tripping that we feel pain. Take control of where your mind and eyes go. Focus on what you want and what is good. Reflect, detach and then move forward.
Chris Sopa is founder and owner of Chris Sopa International, Inc. You can learn more about her at www.ChrisSopa.com. Find her at Facebook.com/ChrisSopaInternational, Twitter @ChrisSopa, LinkedIn, and Google+.