AS I SEE
week as I talked with a friend I recalled a story which I heard
this summer."A compassionate person, seeing a butterfly
struggling to free itself from its cocoon, and wanting to help,
very gently loosened the filaments to form an opening. The
butterfly was freed, emerged from the cocoon, and fluttered about
but could not fly. What the compassionate person did not know was
that only thorugh the birth struggle can the wings grow strong
enough for flight. Its shortened life was spent on the ground; it
never knew freedom, never really lived.
it learning to love with an open hand. It is a learning which has
come slowly to me and has been wrought in the fires of pain and
in the waters of patience. I am learning that I must free one I
love, for if I clutch or cling, try to control, I lose what I try
If I try
to change someone I love because I feel I know how that person
should be, I rob him or her of a precious right, the right to
take responsibility for ones own life and choices and way of
being. Whenever I impose my wish or want or try to exert power
over another, I rob him or her of the full realization of growth
and maturation; I limit and thwart by my act of possession, no
matter how kind my intention.
limit and injure by the kindest acts of protecting and protection
or concern over-extended can say to the other person more
eloquently than words, "You are unable to care for yourself;
I must take care of you because you are mine. I am responsible
for you. "
learn and practice more and more, I can say to one I love, "
I love you, I value you, I respect you and I trust that you have
or can develop the strength to become all that it is possible for
you to become - if I don't get in your way. I love you so much
that I can set you free, to walk beside me in joy and in sadness.
I will share your tears but I will not ask you not to cry. I will
respond to your need, I will care and comfort you but I will not
hold you up when you can walk alone. I will stand ready to be
with you in your grief and lonliness but I will not take it away
from you. I will strive to listen to your meaning as well as your
words but I shall not always agree.
I will be angry and when I am, I will try to tell you openly so
that I need not resent our differences or feel estranged. I can
not always be with you or hear what you say for there are times
when I must listen to myself and care for myself, and when that
happens I will be as honest with you as I can.be."
am learning to say this, whether it be in words or in my
way of being
others and myself, to those I love and for whom I care.
And this I
loving with an open hand.
cannot always keep my hands off the cocoon, but I am
getting better at
with permission of
Observer newspaper,. Wantagh.,
Bellmore and Merrick, L.I.