I strongly connected with the story of a butterfly cocoon that was shared in Robin Roberts’ memoir, ‘Everybody’s Got Something.’
“Someone sees the movement of the butterfly pressing against the wall of the cocoon and they think they’ll help it along and just cut a little hole in the cocoon so the butterfly can come out with ease. But the butterfly dies soon after. There’s a reason why it’s beating its wings against the wall of the cocoon – to make it stronger. It doesn’t serve the butterfly, in the long term, to come out too soon.”
My husband, Noah, my parents, and I battle with the helpless vs. burden struggle. My parents and Noah fight the feeling of helplessness, as they would do anything to take away my health struggles and eliminate my pain. Where I fight my inner thoughts of feeling like a burden, as I hate to see what I put them through and how my health trials have been life altering for all of us. The important thing to remember is that most of this is out of our control.
The four of us are strong in mind and heart and this has enabled us to overcome every health obstacle as a team. We want the answers as to why I must endure countless health complications and why my body goes through so much pain and struggle. I trust there is a reason for all of this and while some want the ability to take things off my plate and ease the pain, I continue to have faith that I am ‘beating my wings against the wall of my cocoon’ for a reason.
“If we don’t want to undergo any struggle, we won’t be able to fly!”
Whenever we are enduring something in life, it is about balance, acceptance and gracefully transitioning into the next phase of our journey. I hope my parents and husband realize how their unyielding love and support has enabled me to stay mentally and physically strong. During the times they may feel helpless, they are actually empowering me to feel unconquerable. When I feel like a burden, I remind myself that if the shoe were on the other foot, I would do anything for them and they could never be a burden to me.
“When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.” – Henri J.M. Nouwen
Noah recently said he wished he could take some of these health struggles off my plate. I replied, “I know, but you make them taste better and easier to swallow.” Just like the butterfly beating its wings against the wall of the cocoon, there is a reason for everything.