The Story of the Butterfly and You

by Dena-Lynn

in Empowerment

I want to share one of my favorite and simple empowering stories – the kind that I call an oldie but goody. The Story of the Butterfly. Perhaps you know it? This story was related to me many years ago and even though I knew it when I recently came across it – it still gave me pause.

Take a look, and while you’re reading, I want you to recall the times that you may have cursed at your struggles – you looked for shortcuts or just generally hoped for an easier way of it…

The Story of the Butterfly

A man found a cocoon of a butterfly.

One day a small opening appeared.

He sat and watched the butterfly for several hours

as it struggled to squeeze its body through the tiny hole.

Then it stopped, as if it couldn’t go further.

So the man decided to help the butterfly.

He took a pair of scissors and

snipped off the remaining bits of cocoon.

The butterfly emerged easily but

it had a swollen body and shriveled wings.

The man continued to watch it,

expecting that any minute the wings would enlarge

and expand enough to support the body,

Neither happened!

In fact the butterfly spent the rest of its life

crawling around.

It was never able to fly.

What the man in his kindness

and haste did not understand:

The restricting cocoon and the struggle

required by the butterfly to get through the opening

was a way of forcing the fluid from the body

into the wings so that it would be ready

for flight once that was achieved.

Sometimes struggles are exactly

what we need in our lives.

Going through life with no obstacles would cripple us.

We would not be as strong as we could have been

and we would never fly.

So, can you relate? I sure can. With over two score years of life experience, I’m certain of the value of struggles and challenges. Now, don’t get me wrong – there are many struggles and challenges that serve no purpose other than to make life seem like a living hell – or at minimum present petty annoyances. Those are not the kind that I’m referring to.

I’m talking about those challenges that you go through that when you emerge, having met the challenge – you will unequivocally be in a better place. Those challenges and struggles that reward you with tangible and intangible benefits to your life – those that add value. The challenges that empower us to engage in life and in business – anything really – at a much higher level.

I appreciate those kinds of challenges. Instead of cursing my struggles, looking for shortcuts, and wishing for an easier way – I remain mindful of the end benefits and keep pushing forward. Do you do that? Why not put this empowering story of the butterfly in your tool chest so that you can begin to not only fully engage in your challenges and struggles and emerge successful – you might also begin to welcome them – or, perhaps, look for them. Imagine that….

To Your Empowerment & Growth,

P.S. As always, if you think that any of your social contacts would benefit from or enjoy this post – please share it with them on Facebook, Twitter, Digg and any other network that you use.

© 2010 – 2015, Dena-Lynn. All rights reserved.

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+Dena-Lynn is a Mom, Grammie, Author, MS Warrior, IM Consultant & Professionally Trained Life Coach. Inspiring The Warrior Within to TRIUMPH in a home based business and in life!

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Hi Dena,

I love that story and I love butterflies! Every time I have a challenge, I remind myself that it will be a much stronger person when I come out the other side. I think the more we go through and learn from our experiences, the more we are in a better position to help others.

Thank you Dena 🙂

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Julieanne van Zyl

Hi Dena, that’s a beautiful story, and describes “our journey” through the challenges so well!

That guy who tried to help would’ve learned a good lesson. Bye for now, Julieanne
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Selya Rollins

Hello Dena,
This is a classic story with great moral reminder of how to turn challenges into stepping stones.
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Debbie O

Strangely I was telling someone this story last week. It is the struggles in life that makes us smarter and stronger. When we love someone, it is natural wanting to help them. Knowing when to help and when to let them learn, is the hardest part. Nice reminder!


David Paul

Hi Dena,

What a profound story, and an important lesson.

I think it is critical to STOP creating obstacles in our home businesses that sabotage our success, so we can start conquering the Real Obstacles and challenges that help us talk ourselves and our businesses to the next level.

Take Care,

David Paul
the Follow Your Bliss guy
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Tricia Karp


I’ve heard that story before and never tire of it. Everything in its own good time. Sometimes it takes a long time – maybe years, maybe a lifetime – to transform our biggest struggles into magical gifts.

I’m truly grateful for my struggles, and have learnt to see the opportunity in everything life offers. I think this perspective makes life so meaningful, and adds many more layers of intrigue and fascination for the journey.

Thank you!
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Arlan Murata

Hi Dena: Love your story as we need to think before we try to help. Appreciate your story. Thx



Dena! Great reminder! The struggle ‘builds our muscles’, develops our tenacity and makes us most valuable to deliver. In other words, the furnace of affliction refines us. And sometimes the longer the most valuable. Just like ‘pure gold’. Great poem. love it! xx Enomfon xx
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Robin Lynn Brooks

Thanks Dena I never tire of this one. I myself found a grateful spirit crediting the challenges faced none the less. It was at an early age I realized in the quietness of my own soul that it was a very good thing. Somehow through it all I loved who I had become.
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Jill Caldwell

Dena – that is a powerful story. I probably would have been one of those that tried to help the butterfly too. But I do understand that we must go through struggles sometimes. If we don’t perservere and learn from them we will never have success. Somehow we come out a better person for them!
Thanks for the inspiration.

Jill C., NC
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Val Wilcox

I hadn’t heard this story before. It makes so much sense thought, doesn’t it! We learn our most impactful lessons through the struggles of life experiences. If we did not have a contrast to hold up to our desires, we would have no reason to push on. There’s a right way & a wrong way to help.

Thanks for reminding us of that!
Val 🙂
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Wendy Hewlett


The story of the butterfly is one that I can relate to very well. The message is great – we need to go through the process of our challenges and struggles so that we are ready for the next stage of our lives.

Thanks for sharing this!

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Karla Setchel

Hey Dena,
I definitely can “relate” to struggles! Yes, some have made me stronger and some were just annoying. None of them were “fun” but seeing a struggle for an opportunity for growth definitely changes your attitude and makes it easier to handle. Thanks for sharing this incredible story again and reminding me to look for the growth opportunity 🙂

Many Blessings,
Karla Setchel


Curt Bizelli

Hi Dena, I love your blog post here about the butterfly; what an amazing story. I’m reminded of many things in my life over the years that have both made me a stronger person for going through them as well as challenges that were made easier by my parents that I may have grown more if I would have had to break through by myself. Nevertheless, I’m not only grateful for the trying times, but also my family that persists with me through them. I just found out that a good ole’ friend of mine recently had a motorcycle accident. I keep reflecting on how much he’s helped me and I pray that this is just another challenge he has to overcome: To Be Able to Walk Again ! Thank you for sharing, Dena, God Bless!
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Nancy Burke Barr, JD

Hi Dena,

I have heard this story many, many times, so honestly, I didn’t want to take the time to look at it again. Out of respect to you, I did read it and WHAT A GIFT! I am in this exact position right now and I am having to restrain myself from “opening the cocoon”. It is a blessing that I came here to be reminded that smoothing the path is not always the best approach!

Thank you so much for bringing us this classic story!

Mentor Mama
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Roland Bonay

Hi Dena-Lynn,
Thanks for sharing that enlightening story and congratulations on receiving the BMA. Your blog is clear evidence of your willingness to confront struggles and challenges head on. I am so happy to connect with you via the TSA. You set a great example of what members of a tribe (or any community) should be doing. I am looking forward to seeing more from you.
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Gary Young - China Sourcing

Interesting story. I suppose this is really important in the formative years. It reminds me of how we rob people of their dignity and ability to become self sufficient with compassion. Spoiled Children and the welfare state come to mind. Don’t get me wrong, we all need help. No one can do it alone. But sometimes throwing money at a problem or doing the work someone else needs to do to grow is just the opposite of compassion.
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Susan Redmon

Hi Dena,

What a beautiful story! If life was easy…we never had to learn, grow, develop…we’d be dull, lifeless and never fully develop our true potential. How boring would that be?

Thanks for sharing,
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Ted Hunsaker

Hi Dena,

Great story and it relates well to what a lot of us go through. In order to build a successful business, we need to be able to learn from our struggles and mistakes. This will only make us better and stronger.
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Tanisha Adjokatcher

Beautiful stuff her Dena… we all can benefit from this head on.. we all have challenges but what we learn from them is what counts.. thx


Paul Reimers

Thanks for the great post,

I love that story! I also heard one saying that the pain that we feel in times of difficulty is God chiseling away what is not essential to us in order to free our true form. It’s funny how we can push against difficulties and can go out of our way to avoid them, but experience some of our greatest growth in going through them.
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Linda G. Cox

This is a nice post! We’ve had this conversation more than once, you and I, I’ve said in prayer, “Haven’t I learned enough, Lord?” And still my MS is ruling my walking. When you gave me the words to vocalize my situation, “We find our purpose in our circumstances.” I have found my purpose and I’m excited to help others with MS “Find Joy in their Reality. ”
I’m happy that we’re working together on this goal!
ps. And I see my commentluv is still not working!


Carla McNeil, Social Media Speaker and Coach

Dena, I so relate to this “oldy but goody”!

For so many years I just wanted someone to do it for me. Now I understand the benefits of the struggle! So much so that my website has butterfly incorportated into the name.


Theresa Garland

Hey Dena, if I have ever heard that story before, I don’t remember it and I think I would have. I certainly won’t forget it ever. I, also, love your tips for doing videos. I have two but need to do more. I’ll try what you suggested and see if I can “make” myself do it. I really don’t know why it seems so hard.

Thank you, again

Theresa Garland
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Kathy Sammons

I know this story but it is always great to be reminded of the power that comes through pressing on and pressing through that which stands in our way. We all struggle, but it is those of us that do not become consumed by those struggles and keep moving forward that become more than they we where when we started.

Thanks for the reminder, hope all is well,



Alexander Paul
Twitter: AlexanderPaul

Hi Dena-Lynn, WOW great that I found this post here… we (a circle of highly motivated marketers) just discussed this story last week and I’m glad I found it here in writting as well now. It’s so true if you want to ease burdens or want to even lift them from people then the right understanding of achievement doesn’t come across. Enjoy coming over to your site and always find something new. Thx and all the best, Alex.
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Stevie Smith

Hello Dena-Lynn,

I absolutely loved that story. It speaks to all of us on so many different levels and puts into perspective the wisdom of having through obstacles in our life as a way to improve ourselves.

It is certainly a story worth sharing. Thank you for doing that and reminding us of the good things in life, even when they appear not to be.

Keep the smile,
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