This evening, I had a nice, long chat with a friend. We also chatted about LOVE, and both agreed that although most people want it, they are not willing or capable of giving it. Isn’t it funny how the less they give, the more demanding they can be?
This often culminates in emotional or physical abuse, but that was not our main point. We touched on how uncommon it is for girls to define the kind of man they genuinely desire. Most women were raised without knowing their worth. Somehow, we ended up talking about butterflies. Aren’t they such beautiful creatures? Maya Angelou said, “We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.”
Most beautiful butterflies out there have been exposed to challenging circumstances to become who they are.
We also established that there are two types of butterfly enthusiasts:
This is the sort of lover who will stop at nothing to catch the butterfly. They will study the butterfly’s movements from a distance and with the right tools: WHAM, butterfly trapped, game over! To them, the butterfly is nothing but a trophy which might end up between sheets in a book or a glass cabinet of some sort. It’s all about the status symbol, but true love doesn’t exist. If the butterfly is lucky enough, it might be provided with a little bit of oxygen and food so that it survives that little bit longer to fulfil the lover’s ego. At the end of the day, the butterfly’s destination becomes ‘bottled’ or ‘caged’ or ‘curated’ or ‘pickled’. Just letting my imagination run amok here!
The second lover is the sort of person who simply falls in love with a particular butterfly and wants nothing but to see it thrive. They will do whatever it takes to make their garden as conducive as possible. This butterfly enthusiast will plant the right flowers, keep the weeds out, water the garden and feed the soil to promote the growth of the vegetation that supports the butterfly’s existence. You see, they derive joy from seeing the butterfly do what it does best and will stop at nothing to keep predators out of the way. As a result, this lover’s garden becomes a healthy and lovely place to be where not only other butterflies of all shades and colours thrive, but other creatures too - great and small!
So, although it all started with the love of a particular butterfly, his quest to preserve the butterfly will bring many rewards to the ecosystem; lover happy, all the way!
Lover Two derives joy from seeing the butterfly do what it does best and will stop at nothing to keep pradators out of the way.
This Valentine’s Day, what type of lover are you? Are you a trophy hunter or a nurturer? Remember, the better you look after what you have, the more it will sustain you. To all the butterflies out there, here’s hoping that you are in the right sort of environment. If not, consider spreading your wings and fly away. There's another world out out there. However, this is possible only if you know who you are and understand how special you really are. It might be hard, it will be lonely sometimes, maybe dangerous, but just remember the changes you’ve had to go through to be a butterfly in the first place.
You’re AWESOME already!
You might feel or get lost in the process but that’s OK, you’ll soon find your way, God is your compass. Whatever you do, keep flittering! Stay away from trophy collectors. They are never happy; your worth and everything beautiful about you will never be enough.
Dad's Response: A Valentine's Story
Upon reading this story, a father- figure weighed in with a thought-provoking response. Thought I'd share with you all.
I saw a lovely article of yours about butterflies today, well-articulated, nice flow, good storyline and insightful message. Please allow me to make a little contribution.
And so, this is why we teach our sons that a man’s strength is not measured by his ability to trap butterflies, but by the size of the smile of the butterfly that he tends to. We also teach our daughters to recognise the difference between butterfly trappers and butterfly tenders. I bet it’s trickier for them because they are often drawn to the trappers and not tenders. It is how it is…maybe tenders are busy preparing their gardens and don’t understand butterflies. Perhaps some mentoring is needed for tenders.
There is evidence that tenders often end up with moths in their gardens as moths perhaps know the game better. They can spot the tenders probably after loads of painful experiences with trappers, but now they really have no intention to stay in a garden anymore. So, we see butterflies becoming moths and tenders becoming trappers after encounters with moths in their backyards. In the end, the whole world believes that everyone is either a moth or a trapper. But there are loads of gracious tenders and lovely butterflies out there. So, in this season we spread love to all: butterflies, moths, tenders and trappers knowing that deep down, every heart has a yearning for love.
And maybe true love is that simple act of giving without expecting anything in return.
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