Caregiver Support

A Butterfly Lesson 

An unknown author wrote this story and the lessons behind it are so true, so touching, so empowering. From the butterfly’s story, I hope we all can learn to see struggles in a different light. 

A man found the cocoon of a butterfly. One day a small opening appeared in the cocoon; the man sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through that little hole. Then it seemed to stop making any progress. It appeared as if the butterfly had gotten as far as it could, and it just could not go any further.  So the man decided to help the butterfly. He took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit of the cocoon. The butterfly then emerged easily, but it had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings. The man continued to watch the butterfly. He expected that, at any moment, the wings would enlarge and expand to be able to support the body, which would contract in time. Neither happened! In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings, and it was never able to fly.   

What the man in his kindness and haste didn’t understand was that the restricting cocoon, and the struggle required for the butterfly to get through the tiny opening, were nature’s way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings, so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved it’s freedom from the cocoon.   

Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our life. If nature allowed us to go through life without any obstacles, it would cripple us. We would not be as strong as we could have been, and we would never fly.  

Pause for a while and think about this:

I asked for strength and I was given difficulties to make me strong.

I asked for wisdom and I was given problems to solve.

I asked for prosperity and I was given a brain and brawn to work.

I asked for courage and I was given obstacles to overcome.

I asked for love and I was given troubled people to help.

I asked for favors and I was given opportunities.

I received nothing I wanted but I received everything I needed. 

Read it again, “I received nothing I wanted but I received everything I needed.”

Live life without fear, confront all obstacles and know that you can overcome them. Then you will realize how much stronger you’ve been and how blessed you have become. 

I personally think about this when I see people like Michael J. Fox, Lance Armstong, and many others like you and me, who have struggled and became blessed in some way by the experience.  Caregiving does make us stronger.  It allows us to show courage.  We are hero’s and angels on this earth.  Maybe we can’t see it now in the middle of the challenge, but there really is light at the end of the tunnel.

Joy Golliver


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