I watched a butterfly flutter into the open window of a sun-room. It was elated as it soared through the air, exploring a new place, the gold and black colors of its wings radiant as the sun’s rays danced along them.
But, after awhile, the butterfly was ready to return to the wild, to the wide-open spaces and luscious landscapes. The butterfly flew back toward the window, but in its wanderings, it had gotten turned around. It flew to closed window after closed window, while becoming all the more perplexed. It could see its destination on the other side of those panes of glass, but could not figure out how to get there.
The open window it had ventured in from wasn’t far, maybe two panes down, but the butterfly continued to fly frantically in small concentric circles. I shouted toward the butterfly, “Don’t give up! You’re so close! Just a little to your left and you’ll be out of here!” My encouragements were to no avail as the butterfly grew more and more frantic. I tried to guide it to the direction of the window, but it was out of reach and I didn’t have anything high enough to help show it the way.
With time, the beautiful butterfly became discouraged, the frantic fluttering slowed as it landed on the closed window sill. My heart broke for that butterfly. It was so close to freedom, so close to its goal, but it couldn’t see the way to get there.
It made me realize, we are all kind of like butterflies. We are trying out our wings, soaring to new heights and adventures, until suddenly one day, we get stuck. We feel lost, discouraged, with no way out. Sometimes, we can see what we want, but just can’t get to it, just like that sweet butterfly on the window sill. Other times, we are still flying in concentric circles, searching, but in the wrong places.
But, just like with this butterfly, we all have our open windows. There is always an answer. There is always hope that things will get better and you will find your way again. Sometimes, we are able to figure it out on our own. Sometimes, a well-meaning friend might try and give us guidance when we are unsure which way is up.
Just as I thought that all hope was lost, I saw the butterfly’s wings twitch. A final burst of energy, a change in direction, and I watched that butterfly triumphantly soar through the open window. If it would have given up, it never would have made it. But, it found the strength to try one more time.
And, that’s truly what life is all about. It’s about finding our strength, each and every day. You may be so much closer than you think to an answer. And, if you’re not, that doesn’t mean you won’t get there. Never give up on yourself and the hope that better things are out there for you. Never be afraid to ask for help or recalculate when you’ve found you’ve gotten lost.
I’m rooting for the butterflies in all of us. May we never lose sight of our ability to soar into a new chapter. May we never let our current situation blind us from the hopes we have for a brighter future.