This week while talking to a friend, I remembered a story I had heard this summer.
„A gracious person, seeing how hard the butterfly was struggling to get free from the chrysalis, wanted to help it. He very gently loosened the threads, creating an exit. The butterfly esaped, got out of the pupa, floundered unsteadily, but it could not fly. There was something this gracious person was not aware of: the only way for the wings to become strong enough to fly is through the process of being born and by struggling its way out. The butterfly lived its shortened life on the ground, never knew freedom, never truely lived.”
I call it ’loving with open arms’. This is an experience that mellowed in me slowly, in fire of pain, in water of patience. My experience is that I must set free the ones I love, because if I hang on to them, cling on to them or try to control them, I will lose what I am trying to keep.
If I try to change someone I love – because I feel, I know how he should be – then I deprive him of a very valuable right of his, the right to take responsiility for his own life, choises, lifestyle. Each time I force my wish, or will on him, or try to take control over him, I take away his chance for development and growth. With my possessiveness I restrict him, I stand in his way and it doesn’t matter with what intent.
I am able to limit and hurt someone with my nicest protecting act – and my protection or extreme attention is telling the other person more than anything: ’ You are incapable of taking care of yourself, I have to look after you, watch you, because you are mine. I am responsible for you.”
As I am learning and practicing, I am getting more capable of telling to the person I love: „I love you, value you and I respect you. I trust that you own or you can develop the strength in yourself to become whatever is possible for you, if I do not stand in your way.’
„I love you enough to set you free fully, so we can walk next to each other in happiness and sorrow. I will feel for you when you cry, but I won’t ask you not to cry. I will care about your needs, I will support you, but I wil not hold you back when you want to walk alone. I will always be ready to be with you in your bad times, loneliness, but I will not take it away from you. I will do my best to pay attention to your words, their meaning, but I don’t promise to agree with you all the time. Sometimes I will be angry and I will tell you this openly, so I don’t have to feel refusal, alianation because of our indifferences. I cannot be with you always, I don’t alwas hear what you say, because there are times when I have to pay attention to myself – in these times I will be as sincere with you as I can.”
I am learning, so I can express all this to people I love, I care about, either with words or with my existence with others and with myself. I call it: „loving with open arms”.
I am not able to keep my hands off the chrysalis all the time, but I’m improving every day.