Holding Space

One day a man walking through the woods saw a cocoon dangling from the leaf of a tree. Inside the cocoon was an emerging butterfly, struggling to break free from the hard shell of the cocoon.

Watching this struggle, the man felt a surge of compassion. He longed to see the butterfly fly freely. Out of this motivation, he gently used his fingers to pry open the cocoon so that the emerging butterfly could break out of the cocoon easier.

It worked. The butterfly was freed from the cocoon. But as the man continued to watch, he realised the butterfly could not fly. Unwillingly, the man had crippled the butterfly.

It was through the struggle of breaking free from the cocoon that the butterfly could build the strength needed in it’s wings in order to fly. By removing the struggle, even though out of compassion, the man had caused greater suffering. He had not learned how to hold space.

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