How to Face Life's Challenges

May 2000

Dear Divine Souls,

There was once a man who, on a tree outside his home, noticed a beautifully woven cocoon. He carefully watched the cocoon every day in order to catch the first glimpse of the beautiful butterfly he knew would emerge. Finally, one day he saw a tiny hole in the cocoon which grew quickly as the hours passed. He sat watching the butterfly break her way out of the cocoon. However, suddenly he noticed that it seemed the butterfly had stopped making progress. The hole did not get any larger and the butterfly see med to be stuck. The cocoon as bouncing up and down on the branch as the butterfly tried to squeeze herself, unsuccessfully, through the hole she had created.

The man watched in dismay as it seemed his butterfly would not be able to emerge. Finally, he went inside, took a small pair of scissors, and carefully cut the cocoon, allowing the butterfly to emerge easily. However, the butterfly immediately dropped to the ground instead of soaring gracefully into the sky as he imagined she would.

The man noticed that the butterfly's stomach was swollen and distended but her wings were small and shriveled, explaining her inability to fly. He assumed that after some time, the stomach would shrink and the wings would expand, and she would fly in her fullest glory. However, this was never to be.

The man didn't know that it was the very act of forcing her body through the tiny hole in the cocoon which pushed all the fluid from her stomach into her wings. Without that external pressure, the stomach would always be swollen and the wings would always be shriveled.

In life, too frequently, we avoid the challenges, looking for the easy way out. We look for people who will "cut our cocoons," so that we never have to work and push our way through anything. However, little do we realize that it is going through those times of difficulty which prepare us for the road ahead. The obstacles in our path are God's way of making us able to fly. With every bit of pushing and struggling, our wings become fuller and fuller.

So frequently, people come to me and say, "Oh, why has God given me so much strife. Why has He put so many obstacles in my path? Why is He punishing me?" We must realize these are not punishments. Sure, karma plays a large role in what we receive in this lifetime, but even the things that seem like "bad" karma, are actually opportunities for growth. Even an extra small hole to squeeze through is actually an opportunity for our wings to expand to great lengths.

So, let us learn to take our challenges for what they are, rather than looking around for a "different" hole, or for someone with a pair of scissors. These things may help us quickly through the cocoon, but we will be unable to fly in life.







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