The other day my grandson told me he was given an assignment to speak in front of his class in a few days. Because I am a motivational speaker and teach workshops to people about speaking in front of an audience, I decided to give him a few pointers!
Here was the challenge, even though I was excited to share my knowledge, he wasn’t interested in what I had to say! I soon realized that I had to allow him to give the speech his own way and be there for him should he have questions about the outcome of his speech.
How many of you know someone who tries to give you unwanted advice? We all know that person who is always trying to tell us why we need to try their product or service but can’t seem to understand that they need to allow us to seek them out when we are ready. A good question to ask yourself is, “Am I that person?”
The experience with my grandson brought to mind the Lesson of the Butterfly:
A man spent hours watching a butterfly struggling to emerge from its cocoon. It managed to make a small hole, but its body was too large to get through it. After a long struggle, it appeared to be exhausted and remained absolutely still.
The man decided to help the butterfly and, with a pair of scissors, he cut open the cocoon, thus releasing the butterfly. However, the butterfly’s body was very small and wrinkled and its wings were all crumpled.
The man continued to watch, hoping that, at any moment, the butterfly would open its wings and fly away. Nothing happened; in fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its brief life dragging around its shrunken body and shriveled wings, incapable of flight.
What the man – out of kindness and his eagerness to help – had failed to understand was that the tight cocoon and the efforts that the butterfly had to make in order to squeeze out of that tiny hole were Nature’s way of training the butterfly and of strengthening its wings.
Sometimes, a little extra effort is precisely what prepares us for the next obstacle to be faced. Anyone who refuses to make that effort, or gets the wrong sort of help, is left unprepared to fight the next battle and never manages to fly off to their destiny.
My grandson gave me the opportunity to give him The Gift of Allowing, but I had to be in a position to respect his opportunity to learn in his own way. How would our world change if we made it a point to truly hear the needs of others?
By Nancy Mueller
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