A Butterfly in the Hand

A Butterfly in the Hand

A butterfly lights beside us like a sunbeam...
And for a brief moment its glory and beauty belong to our world.
But then it flies again and though we wish it could have stayed...
We feel lucky to have seen it.

  • Author Unknown

So I was listening to the radio a week or two ago, when a relationship guru came on the air. As the hosts began to ask him questions and listeners called in, the conversation eventually drifted to the personal relationship questions of the hosts.

One host's question in particular, caught my attention - and that was:

What do you do, when you really like someone, and you want to keep them?

To this, the guru responded with a wisely crafted metaphor. He said and I quote, that having a relationship with someone you cherish, is like having a butterfly land in your palm.

The thing is though, that as serendipitous an event as this is, how it turns out is entirely dependent on the way... not the act, of trying to keep the butterfly in your palm. For undoubtedly, everyone wants to keep their butterfly. But no one truly knows how.

The first way most people try, is by closing their hands around the butterfly... and trying not to make a fist. But this is a cage, restricted, and may clip your butterfly's wings: either injuring it, or making it yearn for freedom. In other words, you're likely to end up being too needy, controlling, demanding, domineering, or possessive. Have you heard any of these terms before? 😉

Crushed Butterfly by Heather Pegrum

Another way, is by pretending you don't know you have a butterfly: so as not to scare it away. But with this approach, you're too scared of it leaving you to ever show it enough love. Thus, your butterfly may soon feel unappreciated - after all if your palm is no better than anywhere else, there is no reason to stay. In other words, you're likely to seem uncaring, nonchalant, cold, and/or distant. Again, does this ring a bell? 😉

Now if any of the above did ring a bell, our radio guru suggested a third option. The one he says is the hallmark of a true lover.

Leave your butterfly free, but cup your hands around it to protect it from the wind. With this he said, you show that you care for it, without damaging it, or your relationship. Of course, the butterfly is still free to fly away, but if it does, then perhaps things were not meant to be...

Leave your butterfly free, but cup your hands around it to protect it from the wind

But funny enough, when I shared this advice on Facebook, I got a bunch of responses. From both bachelors and married friends who claimed to have tried one, more, or all of these, and found them lacking.

So, as great a piece of advice this is, and as much as I recommend it, the truth is that nobody knows the answer to all relationships... - and with that, I leave you with this.