No Mind Left Behind

Don’t get left behind

What It Takes To Fly

Butterflies come in such diverse designs, beautiful colours and sizes. They always seem to bring with them an important awareness. The evolution of a caterpillar to a butterfly has long been a wonderful metaphor for growth in our lives. Recently I was reminded of an essential part of their growth I often forget.

There’s an incredible struggle the butterfly endures to break open it’s cocoon. If we saw this struggle we might be prompted to help the process a little and ease the butterfly’s pain and suffering. We might simply cut open the cocoon for the butterfly and stop the struggle immediately.

At times I’m aware I want to do a simple “cut” in an attempt to rescue someone from their immediate suffering. As if suffering is the enemy, and not an essential ingredient of growth. 

Being a “cocoon cutter” can appear helpful in the moment. To swoop in and save someone from their suffering can make us feel strong, powerful and like a lifesaver! It might even distract us from our own cocoon struggle. While cocoon-cutting may be compelling in the short term, it’s pretty disastrous long-term. If we intervened in the butterfly’s exhausting process and snipped open their cocoon, the butterfly would be free immediately, yes, but completely unable to fly! It’s wings would be weak and useless. The whole point of the struggle from the cocoon is to fully strengthen and develop beautiful wings to fly.

This reminder may help frame some of life’s most challenging and painful times. Perhaps we can bring more patience to our transformations? Where in your life might you be “cocoon cutting” for someone else or perhaps you’re tempted to cut open your own cocoon and short-cut your own growth?

I encourage you not to rush your wings in their strengthening process. We all know real growth and transformation takes time. There are no short-cuts. When we’re in a cocoon struggle, it is not personal. It is not because we’re failures. Its because we are growing and becoming more of who we are! At these difficult times we don’t need a cut to make it easier, we just need lots of reminders that we too can transform and fly in our own time. It’s important to remember this!

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