Struggle is essential for Growth

I read this story a while ago, and felt compelled to share it. Life is not easy, but unfortunately we have been tricked in to believing that it should be. Constantly striving to be ‘happy’ or looking for a quick fix can leave us feeling frustrated, disappointed and more stressed than before. When we are over protective of ourselves, and others in our life, we unintentionally disempower each other in the quest to deal with life. The following tale contains a wise message. The original author is unknown.

A man found a cocoon of an emperor moth. He took it home so that he could watch it come out of the cocoon. On the day a small opening appeared, he sat and watched the moth for several hours as it struggled to force its body through the little hole. After a while, it seemed to stop making any progress, it appeared that it had gotten as far as it could and couldn’t go any further. It just seemed to be stuck.

The man, in his kindness, decided to help the moth. With a pair of scissors he snipped off the remaining bit of the cocoon. The moth then emerged with ease. It had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings. The man continued to watch the moth because he expected that at any moment, it’s wings would enlarge and expand to be able to support the bloated body, which he was sure would contract soon. Neither happened! In fact the little moth spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings. It was never able to fly.

What the man in his haste had not understood was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle required for the moth to get through the tiny opening was nature’s way of forcing fluid from the moth’s body into its wings so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved freedom from the cocoon. Freedom and flight would only come after the struggle. Depriving the moth of this struggle, the man unwittingly deprived it of health and its natural body.

Sometimes struggles are essential in life. If we go through our life without overcoming obstacles, we can get stuck in the comfort zone and slowly die having never truly lived. We deprive ourselves of a sense of achievement, accomplishment, and the opportunity to grow. If we don’t have setbacks and failures we have nothing to compare the good times to.  We may inadvertently cripple others and ourselves emotionally, leaving them fearing life and it’s challenges. It is an especially important step in the early development of a child to experience and learn from challenges, because then they are able to celebrate when they achieve their own breakthroughs. It is up to us to help ourselves, and thus by example, help those around us to develop.

Let us all strive to be physically, emotionally and mentally as strong as we can be.

Posted in Change, Choices, Coaching, Life Balance.

Anne McKeown