A friend of mine recently visited The Butterfly House and was lucky enough to release some butterflies. After taking the lid off the container she gently slid in her finger. The butterfly perched on the tip, as she extended her hand to set it free she said “enjoy your 21 days”.
It got me thinking….Did that butterfly set out with a plan? What will be important over the next 21 days? Will she live out her dreams? Imagine if we only had 21 days. What would our plans be? The butterfly has no idea that it only has 21 days, just as we have no idea what our life span will be.
People spend a lot of time worrying about the next day. When we leave work we are already concerned about what our day will be like tomorrow. Children leaving school worry about tests the next day. As we are driving home from work we are stressed over what traffic may be like. Then there are the evening worries…will I get everything done so I can get a decent nights sleep and wake up and do it all over again? That is life for most of us. Are we making the most out of our lives?
If the butterfly worried day after day about what was going to happen next she wouldn’t have much of a life in that short 21 day span. All of the strength she gained while in the cocoon would be wasted. Instead, she set’s out on a course of discovery. Fluttering around from flower to flower, embracing her life and the time she has. Imagine what could happen if we embraced life.
I’m not one to talk, I’ve spent a lot of my life in the worry stage, but I”m also realizing that I am much happier if I make the choice to embrace life rather than worry about it. Recently I was stuck on the side of the highway with a flat tire. A natural response for most after hearing the POP is to immediately get angry. I heard the sound, looked up and noticed how blue the sky was; sun was shining; it was a beautiful day…I chose to embrace it. After calling work; calling for roadside assistance; I rolled down the windows, opened the sunroof and enjoyed looking up at the brilliantly blue sky. I had 40 minutes to enjoy. I was also blessed with an hour and a half walk around town while waiting for the tire to be fixed. My responses set the course for the rest of my day. Anger would’ve turned to stress, which would’ve brought on physical symptoms and so on.
Living life as if we only had 21 days could be kind of exciting! It forces one to make the best of every moment no matter if it’s a good or bad one. The bad days are the ones that make us stronger. When I told a friend about my flat tire experience the first reaction was negative, she was upset for me! I just smiled because I knew I had made the best of that incident. I know it sounds silly, but I did feel like I gained just a little more strength that day.
It was a start to conditioning myself to see the good in the bad. Yes I had a flat, but I also had time to enjoy the nice day that I never would have allowed myself. I was given a few hours to simmer.
It takes 21 days for a butterfly to soar to the greatest heights it can. In that short time the glasswing carries up to 40 times it’s weight and is the strongest, but most delicate, of the species. What do we need to do to be the strongest we can be? Similarly for us it takes 21 days to change or create a habit. Kind of like we get a chance to reboot if we are stuck in a bad habit or strengthen by creating a positive one.
I’ve begun my reboot and I’m confident that once I’m past my 21 days, I will have more strength to soar to the next. Life’s obstacles are just stepping-stones of strength that will carry us on to another bad day.
How will you spend your next 21 days?……..Comment below on how you have changed.