The Other Butterfly Effect

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The following is a story that has been told and retold countless times. And yet, here it is again, as timely as ever:

Noticing a butterfly struggling to break free from the cocoon, a gentleman, thinking himself helpful, snipped at the cocoon with a tiny pair of scissors. Although the butterfly was indeed freed, its tiny wings were shriveled, and its body was swollen making it improbable that the butterfly would ever take flight. As this condensed version turns out, the insect spent the remainder of its days crawling, never having gained the strength necessary in order to take flight.

Nature’s plan was, as the butterfly squeezed through the tight cocoon opening, the fluids would be forced from the torso into the wings. Once freed, the butterfly could have easily flown.

Nature knew better than did the kindly gentleman.

This parable is two-sided, as is true with much in life:

1. Although Nature gives us perfect lessons, this doesn’t mean you must continuously be squeezed through the hole. Nature never intended you would create a habit from dysfunction, or that you’d develop an addiction to stress hormones and drama.

2. Nature gave us struggles to create strong characteristics, because to never have any struggles would be crippling. Learn lessons of independence, and inter-dependence and let go of passivity or co-dependence.

So the moral to the story is stop whining, squeeze through, embrace the lesson, flap your wings, and fly free.

Excerpt from The Flying Game by Jan Deelstra.

Excerpt from Escaping the Chrysalis: Introduction to Gestalt Techniques For Self-Esteem Transformation by J. Deelstra.

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