Thursday, August 27, 2009

Struggles to butter(fly)ing

Almost 10 years ago, during my college years, I was enduring a different kind of crisis when a new friend, Brandy, gave me a book to encourage me. In it, she had bookmarked and hilighted a particular story. It opened my eyes, and started me down a path that led me to peace and freedom. Somehow over the past few years, I have completely lost my way. As I was doing an image search yesterday for the word "change," I came across the image of a butterfly emerging from a cocoon. It all came flooding back to me. I'd like to share that story with you today. Some of you know it already, but it is a great reminder. It is long, but worth the read.

Retold by Alice Gray

When he was a small boy, he had loved butterflies. Oh, not to net and mount them, but to wonder at their designs and habits.
Now a grown man with his first son to be born in a few weeks, he found himself once again fascinated with a cocoon. He had found it at the side of the park path. Somehow the twig had been knocked from the tree and the cocoon had survived undamaged and still woven to the branch.
As he had seen his mother do, he gently protected it by wrapping it in his handkerchief and carried it home. The cocoon found a temporary home in a wide-top mason jar with holes in the lid. The jar was placed on the mantle for easy viewing and protection from their curious cat who would delight in volleying the sticky silk between her paws.
The man watched. His wife's interest lasted only a moment, but he studied the silky envelope. Almost imperceptibly at first, the cocoon moved. He watched more closely and soon the cocoon was trembling with activity. Nothing else happened. The cocoon remained tightly glued to the twig and there was no sign of wings.
Finally the shaking became so intense, the man thought the butterfly would die from the struggle. He removed the lid on the jar, took a sharp pen knife from his desk drawer, and carefully made a tiny slit in the side of the cocoon. Almost immediately, one wing appeared and then out stretched the other. The butterfly was free!
It seemed to enjoy its freedom and walked along the edge of the mason jar and along the edge of the mantle. But it didn't fly. At first the man thought the wings needed time to dry, but time passed and still the butterfly did not take off.
The man was worried and called up his neighbor who taught high school science. He told the neighbor how he had found the cocoon, placed it in the mason jar, and the terrible trembling as the butterfly struggled to get out. When he described how he had carefully made a small slit in the cocoon, the teacher stopped him. "Oh, that is the reason. You see, the struggle is what gives the butterfly the strength to fly."
And so it is with us. Sometimes it's the struggles in life that strengthen our faith the most.

The struggles in life are what make flying so sweet. If it were all perfect, we wouldn't be able to appreciate it! I think that this story also offers a lesson from the point of the view of the man. We often feel like we have to save others from their struggles. In the end, our help can only keep them from reaching their natural potential. I can only help myself, and allow the other people in my life to do the same for themselves.

So, why is this blog called butter(fly)ing?

I recently came across a website that is helping me get myself in gear. is all about helping individuals eliminate CHAOS from their lives and to Finally Love Yourself. I know it's super cheesy, but it's my biggest problem. It is going to be a process, but the wheels are in motion. I'm taking babysteps towards my goal.

I want you to come on this journey with me!


  1. i LOVE your new page, and your new attitude :) and yes, i've loved that story since i first read it--thanks for posting it, otherwise i'd have had to be an indian-giver and get that book back to take another read, lol. i am so proud of you and i believe in care enough to always want to do/be better and that will take you further than you know. i love know i do...and i'm here...still and always.

  2. My Dear Brandi, you are an intelligent, strong and beautiful woman. You have walked bravely through trials before and I am positive you will walk through this one too. I will be here for you as moral support, an ear to listen when needed, a shoulder to lean on when wanted.
    I love you, Aunt Michele

  3. "Oh, that is the reason. You see, the struggle is what gives the butterfly the strength to fly."
    ohh my goodness, teared up a beautiful, and oh brandy she always knows...
    i will be there for you too, my friend...proud of you



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