When the time comes for a newly-transformed butterfly to emerge from the darkness of its cocoon, it faces a tremendous physical struggle. There are stories of well-meaning people, by attempting to assist butterflies in their emergence, unwittingly interfering with their chances for survival. It is only through its own strenuous effort that the butterfly will achieve the strength that will be required of it for flight.
As difficult as it can be to see our friends and loved ones in the midst of their own personal struggles, and as much as it is our compassionate instinct to want to help them through in any way we can, sometimes what benefits them most is the experience of conquering the obstacles on their own. Whether it is a child who “has to learn the hard way”, or an adult fighting an illness that we are powerless to affect no matter what we do to help, it is their engaging in the fight to overcome the challenge which allows them to discover their own strength, which in the end will result in their ability to thrive. We stand beside, we support, we love them through their struggle – always with patience and quiet confidence that they will reap the benefits of achieving their own liberation.
Even when you are the one mired in a period of darkness, engaged in a fight for your own well-being, know that through your effort and pain you will discover your own resilience. Face the challenge of the difficult times with the knowledge that you will, at the end of the struggle, emerge once again into the light beautiful, and stronger for having fought your way out of the darkness.
“What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly.”
~ Richard Bach, Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah