Did you know that if you would witness a butterfly’s (re)birth and tried to ‘help’ her by opening her pupa, she might die as a result?

It takes hours of hard work for the butterfly to tear open her shell. And this time is an essential part of her transformation: her ‘struggle’ helps her pump fluid from her caterpillar-turned-butterfly body through he veins all the way to the tips of her wings, filling them up, making them strong and flexible and ready for a new life.

This is how she can eventually fly. 

Knowing this about the journey of the graceful butterfly, inspires me when I think about the transformation of people:

Can I sit with someone and let them fully live their experience in the moment, without the need to change it?
Can I trust the person’s inner wisdom to unfold perfectly in its own time, place and way?
Can I be present to whatever is there, without judgment and without pushing towards what I may think should be there?

When another person is suffering, it is up to me (whether as a facilitator or as a friend) to support their journey by receiving them as they are, appealing to their own inner strength and resourcefulness and trusting the process.

Sure, there certainly are times to speak up, reach out and even take over. Wisdom, however, is to recognize what is asked for in the moment and only comes when we can be open, present and fully receive the other (or ourselves!) as they (we) are in this moment.

To truly help others is an art, a gift, and a lifelong practice.