Personal Reflection – Struggle

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Ever wonder why do we struggle so hard in life? Lately, I’ve been feeling the same way.

Whilst reading some random articles on the net on struggle, I stumbled across a short and impactful story. It was too good to not pass it on. I hope it makes just as much as an impact on you as it did for me.


The Butterfly’s Struggle

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. 

The little boy was so excited! But then he noticed the butterfly was struggling so hard to get out and it looked like the butterfly wasn’t going to be able to break free!

The little boy was so worried for the butterfly that he decided he had to help. He quickly got a pair of scissors and snipped the cocoon to make the hole bigger and the butterfly quickly emerged!

But the butterfly had a swollen body and small shriveled wings. The little boy sat and watched the butterfly expecting that, at any moment, the wings would dry out, get bigger and expand to support the swollen body.

But it never happened!

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

It never was able to fly.

He then 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 actually hurt the butterfly.

Like the sapling which grows strong from being buffeted by the wind, in our own life too, we need to struggle first to become strong.

So if you are current struggling in life, choose to look at the silver lining that you’d come out stronger, and struggle through the turmoil.

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