Spoonie Sunday – The Art of Struggle


I found a butterfly a couple of days ago. The first of the season. She sat on the driveway behind my car. I was worried that she might have been injured and I wanted to help her, to pick her gently up and put her on a bush where she might find better protection and food. But I didn’t. I left her alone and in a few minutes, she flew away.

Which reminded me of a story.

A young woman came upon a cocoon with a tiny rip, a caterpillar inside, struggling to emerge but just too large to exit through the tiny hole. The woman feared the little caterpillar would die without help. And so, ever so gently, she split the cocoon open more to allow the butterfly to emerge.

And emerge it did. But the butterfly that came from the cocoon was fat and far too wide for it’s delicate wings. It never flew, and died a few minutes later.

What she didn’t know is that the butterfly needed that tiny little opening. The emerging insect forces it’s way through a passage much smaller than it’s bloated body and, in so doing, it is molded and shaped into the svelte butterfly body which the wings will support. Yes, it was difficult and painful, but it was necessary as the last stage of metamorphosis from fat caterpillar to sleek butterfly. By eliminating that struggle, the young woman had destroyed the caterpillar’s chance to become what it was meant to be.

So what the heck does this sad little tale have to do with Spoonies you ask? Well, it seems that, sometimes, struggle is necessary. I have fought my disease for a long time and I struggle with it a lot, but it’s a part of me. This disease has shaped me, forged me on the anvil of pain and desperation and I’ve come out stronger and happier than I ever would have believed possible. So when you struggle with an ordinary activity, remember the caterpillar and don’t give up. For in your spirit lies the beautiful butterfly that you were always meant to be.


Til next time ~Peace ~JPP

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