“There are two things we should give to our children: Roots and Wings.” ~ Goethe

Nothing can stunt growth like enabling someone.  It is the hardest thing to do when we love someone to watch them struggle and to stand back and let them figure it out for themselves.  We always grow the most when we are outside our comfort zone.  When we love someone, sometimes the hardest thing we have to do is say “no”.

I am familiar with this.  For many years when I was deep in my mess and depressed my Mother kept rescuing me and bailing me out.  I kept saying “I will get it together tomorrow.”  I had the best of intentions.  But I knew I had a safety net and as long as I did, when things were hard I would ask for help rather than do the hard work of working it out for myself.

The greatest gift my Mother gave me was when she made me stand on my own two feet and stopped enabling me.  When she did she let me grow and I rose to the challenge.  I still know she is there if I need her but I want to stand on my own, I don’t need to be rescued.

If I am not living close to the edge then I am not stepping out my comfort zone enough.  What a great feeling when you discover you are stronger than you think.  It is the hardest part of loving someone, letting go, but sometimes it is the most loving thing we can do.

This is a great story that illustrates that perfectly.

The Story of the Butterfly

A man found a cocoon of a butterfly.
One day a small opening appeared.
He sat and watched the butterfly for several hours
as it struggled to squeeze its body through the tiny hole.
Then it stopped, as if it couldn’t go further.

So the man decided to help the butterfly.
He took a pair of scissors and
snipped off the remaining bits of cocoon.
The butterfly emerged easily but
it had a swollen body and shriveled wings.

The man continued to watch it,
expecting that any minute the wings would enlarge
and expand enough to support the body,
Neither happened!
In fact the butterfly spent the rest of its life
crawling around.
It was never able to fly.

What the man in his kindness
and haste did not understand:
The restricting cocoon and the struggle
required by the butterfly to get through the opening
was a way of forcing the fluid from the body
into the wings so that it would be ready
for flight once that was achieved.

Sometimes struggles are exactly
what we need in our lives.
Going through life with no obstacles would cripple us.
We will not be as strong as we could have been
and we would never fly.

Taken from Motivational Stories by Kevin @ http://www.motivationalwellbeing.com/motivational-stories.html

My Challenge:  The next time you’re tempted to do your kids homework or think it would be easier if you did it yourself in some situation with someone you love, stop and let them challenge themselves to grow outside their comfort zone.  It will be the most loving thing you can do.

Maria Elena Escobar