Struggle is Good!   I Want to Fly!

I was talking to Todd today. This story came to mind. It helped me keep the course and not quit many a time. I thought I would retell it here for you. Maybe it will help you as it did me.

Once a little boy was playing outdoors and found a fascinating caterpillar. He carefully picked it up and took it home to show his mother. He asked his mother if he could keep it, and she said he could if he would take good care of it.

The little boy got a large jar from his mother and put plants to eat, and a stick to climb on, in the jar. Every day he watched the caterpillar and brought it new plants to eat.

One day the caterpillar climbed up the stick and started acting strangely. The boy worriedly called his mother who came and understood that the caterpillar was creating a cocoon. The mother explained to the boy how the caterpillar was going to go through a metamorphosis and become a butterfly.

The little boy was thrilled to hear about the changes his caterpillar would go through. He watched every day, waiting for the butterfly to emerge. One day it happened, a small hole appeared in the cocoon and the butterfly started to struggle to come out.

At first, the boy was excited, but soon he became concerned. The butterfly was struggling so hard to get out! It looked like it couldn’t break free! It looked desperate! It looked like it was making no progress!

The boy was so concerned he decided to help. He ran to get scissors and then walked back (because he had learned not to run with scissors…). He snipped the cocoon to make the hole bigger and the butterfly quickly emerged!

As the butterfly came out the boy was surprised. It had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings. He continued to watch the butterfly expecting that, at any moment, the wings would dry out, enlarge and expand to support the swollen body. He knew that in time the body would shrink and the butterfly’s wings would expand.

            But neither happened!

The butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings.

It never was able to fly…

As the boy tried to figure out what had gone wrong his mother took him to talk to a scientist from a local college. He learned that the butterfly was SUPPOSED to struggle. In fact, the butterfly’s struggle to push its way through the tiny opening of the cocoon pushes the fluid out of its body and into its wings. Without the struggle, the butterfly would never, ever fly. The boy’s good intentions hurt the butterfly.

As you go through school, and life, keep in mind that struggling is an important part of any growth experience. In fact, it is the struggle that causes you to develop your ability to fly.

As instructors, our gift to you is stronger wings…

via Butterfly Struggle Story

Image by smarko from Pixabay

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  • I need to read this story several times. I create alot of my struggling, but not all of it. Life can be hard, but the challenges are a part of my metamorphysis. I must keep moving forward and walking through the challenges. It is a true blessing to have you, Todd and some other friends to help me along the way. I am not alone. That quote about living a life of quiet desperation is truly, truly haunting. I will not live a life of quiet desperation, I make the most of my life today, with the challenges. This is a great story, thanks for the encouragement. 

    • I have learned that struggles, intense pressure, and fire are not bad things. You do not develop muscles with the easy reps. Intense pressure on coal makes diamonds. Fire removes the dross from metals like gold. 

      It is to be embraced. There is a gift at the end. Then we become the worm again.


    Lefty, I thought this was another reading/writing on the now timeless tail of Worm Gets Ideas. It is not. The struggle is painful. Almost paralyzing. ALMOST. With the help of others so far I am putting one foot in front of the other. It is NOT pretty. I drove to the parking lot of a meeting last evening--turned around and left. "Fuck God". I had so much anger at the moment. On the ride home--the back way--I passed a church with a message--"God will be ok with your back turned . . . but you may not". This instilled fear for a moment, then fueled my rebellion.

    I needed to get out of the apartment. Maybe I didn't need to be at that meeting--who knows? The struggle to harness my thoughts and emotions is horrific at times such as last night. I'm embracing the struggle today and grateful for what is going on. I know this too shall pass and I hope i can continue to simply put one foot in front of the other, follow direction for once in my life, and push through the dark, dark times.

    "Because he learned not to run with scissors"--LOL



      Oh, but it is a part of the tale. LOL 

      The part of the tale you are in is where most people quite. Because they think if I was supposed to be doing this it would not be this hard. Then settle for lives of quiet desperation. 

      Start talking in the affirmative. You are doing this all the way through with the help of others. 

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