A Tale of One Unlucky Butterfly

When a bad wind storm hits the west coast of BC, it’s not unusual to see a tree uprooted with roots no more than a couple of feet in depth.  The growth comes so easily due to plenty of rainfall.


In Saskatchewan, the opposite is true.  The winds blow hard and long combined with stretches with little rainfall. This forces the trees to send down their roots deep into the soil where they find water to survive their adversity.

Having gone through a season of prolonged adversity, I am learning to appreciate the growth and strengthening that is taking place in my life.  Without adversity, I would not have developed the stamina, empathy or patience I see growing in my life.

The tale of one unlucky butterfly

Once there was a man who found the cocoon of a caterpillar. As he stared at it, he noticed a small opening starting to form.  He watched the budding butterfly for hours as it struggled to force its body through the little hole that was forming. 

All of a sudden, the struggle stopped and it looked like the butterfly had gotten as far as it could on its own. The man sprang into action and decided to help the butterfly with its struggle.   He grabbed a pair of scissors and started to snip off the cocoon from the struggling body. To his delight, the butterfly emerged easily from its struggle but with a swollen body and small, shriveled wings.

The man continued to watch the butterfly hoping that at any moment the wings would spread out wide and lift the newly emerging butterfly into the air. Instead, nothing happened!  The butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around on its belly with a swollen body and shriveled up wings. It never did learn to fly.

What the man had done in his desire to rescue and help the butterfly was short circuit the struggle required for the butterfly to be ready for flight. Nature`s way of forcing fluid from the body into the wings involves a struggle and a solitary journey involving pain and adversity.

If we live without adversity…

  • We become soft and untested.
  • We are unable to handle bad news.
  • We become crippled in character.
  • We fear taking risks because we might fail.
  • We live selfish shallow lives.
  • We are unable to help others in their struggle.

If we grow through challenging circumstances…

  • We become people of character.
  • We become rocks for others to lean on.
  • We develop a grateful heart and a persevering spirit.
  • We learn to adapt and adjust to a new plan.
  • We learn to see life from a different perspective.
  • We become stronger for the next storm.

What is the current storm you are living with?
How can you lean into your struggle so it doesn’t get short circuited by a pre-mature exit?

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About Cam Taylor

I'm help people live inspired, focused and tenacious lives. I work as a coach, facilitator, author, and speaker.
This entry was posted in Adversity, anxiety, Change, Character, Endurance, gratitude, grieving, Growth, Hope, learning, Pain, Perspective, suffering and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to A Tale of One Unlucky Butterfly

  1. Cindy Tipton says:

    Love this, thanks Cam!!

  2. Michael Abercrombie says:

    Thanks for your perspective on how storms build character. I think it encourages me to lean into mine and try to be more appreciative to the growth opportunities.

  3. Shirlene Henning. says:

    I now, appreciate the adversities that I’ve had, and, no doubt it may come my way again. Can lean into it with appreciation from experience. And, both you & Vicky’s “adversity” the past 20+ months, has definitley helped me to be more patient, with a cautious perspective.

  4. I have nominated your blog for the Blog of the Year 2012 Award! Please find the details at http://tinylessonsblog.com/2012/12/17/three-stars-thank-you/. Congratulations!

  5. Pingback: Looking Back on 2012 | camtaylor.net

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