The Butterfly Effect

The Butterfly Effect

Written by: Khadeja


A beautiful butterfly flew into my office last week. It made a majestic sweep around the room and settled in a corner, calmly opening and closing it’s wings. After awhile, it decided to explore, and somehow ended up behind the bars of a window that does not open. It lost touch with its grace and calmness and started to panic, furiously flapping it’s wings in an attempt to fly out, but it was unable to.

My husband has an affection for all living creatures so I have been witness to many “rescue missions” in the time that I have known him. Insects are regularly caught–carefully–and released back into their natural environment. It is safe to say that his compassion has rubbed off on me, so much so that my initial reaction to the butterfly’s flapping was to carry out my own rescue mission.

I approached the butterfly and extended one finger towards it. It refused my help initially, but then slowly perched on my finger. Yet when I tried to free it from the bars, it would fly off of my finger and back behind the bars. It took several attempts–and I mean SEVERAL–but I finally gained its trust to the point that it allowed me to pull it out of its prison and walk across the room towards a balcony to set it free. It trusted me so much that it remained stuck to my finger and didn’t show any interest of taking off. I had to give it a gentle shake to remind it that it was free.

I returned to my desk with the satisfaction of completing a good deed. But then I realized how much I could empathize with the butterfly. How many times have I gotten “stuck” in a situation or problem that sent me into a panicked spiral? How many times have I insisted on solving things on my own? I am fiercely independent, but subconsciously I also see accepting help as a weakness, as something that would be held over my head and make me indebted to my savior.

I would pray to God to guide me out of my messes, but sometimes God’s help comes in the form of a person who truly just wants to assist. We forget that God’s guidance manifests itself in many forms; we would rather just wake up with some sort of epiphany of a solution. Our pride gets in the way of asking for help, to the point that one would rather drown in their problems rather than reach for a helping hand–or finger, in the case of the butterfly!.

I believe that there is something new to learn everyday, about life, about the world we live in, and most importantly, about ourselves. And that day, the butterfly taught me that I need to be more open and trusting of helping hands.

1 Comment

  1. Abdulaziz Breish on July 4, 2018 at 6:13 am

    Such a beautiful piece mashallah.

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