Today’s wisdom from Rachael: The butterfly doesn’t need our help

Rachael shares with us some wisdom in a beautiful story.

There’s a story attributed to Henry Miller about a little boy who lived in India who walks up to a Guru – an Indian wise man – who’s sitting and looking at something in his hand. The little boy asks him – “What is that?” “It’s a cocoon,” the guru tells him. “Inside the cocoon is a butterfly. Soon the cocoon is going to split and the butterfly will come out.”

“May I have it ?” asks the little boy.
“Yes,” says the guru, “but you must promise me that when the cocoon splits and the butterfly starts to come out and he is beating his wings to get out of the cocoon, you won’t help him. Don’t help the butterfly by breaking the cocoon apart. Let him do it by himself.”
The little boy promised, took the cocoon, went home with it, and then sat and watched it. Finally he saw it begin to vibrate and move and quiver, and at last the cocoon split. Inside was a beautiful, damp butterfly, frantically beating its wings against the cocoon, trying to get out and not seeming to be able to do it. The little boy desperately wanted to help. Finally he gave in and disobeyed the the guru’s orders. He pushed the two halves of the cocoon apart, and the butterfly sprang apart. But as soon as it got up in the air, it fell down to the ground and was killed. In tears the little boy took the butterfly back to the guru and showed him.
“You see, little boy,” the guru said, “you pushed open the cocoon didn’t you?”
“Yes,” said the little boy. And the guru said, “You don’t understand. You didn’t see what you were doing. When the butterfly comes out of the cocoon, the only way he can strengthen his wings is by beating them against the cocoon. It beats against the cocoon so its muscles will grow. When you helped the way you did, you prevented it from getting strong. That’s why the butterfly fell to the ground and was killed.”
As a parent this highlighted the importance to me that we need to provide opportunities for our children to get stronger and allow them to do things for themselves and teach them to make their own decisions.
As an adult this story highlighted the importance to me that when you are in one of those “situations” where you feel locked in and overwhelmed or dissatisfied, keep beating those wings. Keep focused on the goal in front of you. The situation is making you stronger to experience what is coming next – and it is going to get better. So often what seems harsh or cruel in nature is in reality wisdom and kindness for the time ahead.
Have a fabulous day.
Cheers Rachael.

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