April Abboud is a successful American entrepreneur who has moved to the Middle East. She gave up the business she grew, the culture she knew and having family close by to start a family in a land thousands of miles away. She has chosen to challenge herself all through her life.
April was recently asked to be the Moderator and Welcoming Speaker for the regional Global Student Entrepreneur Awards. She shared a powerful story about the need for each of us to face difficulties in our lives:
The Man who Helped 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 force its body through that little hole.
It stopped moving. It seemed to have stopped making progress. It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could, and it could go no further.
The man decided to help. He took a pair of scissors and cut off the remaining cocoon. The butterfly emerged easily.
The butterfly had a sluggish, swollen body and small, shriveled wings. The man continued to watch the butterfly. He waited for the wings to grow and expand to be able to support the body. He waited for the body to shrink to the beautiful proportions of a butterfly.
He waited. Neither happened!
The butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings.
The butterfly never was able to fly.
The Universe is Wise
The man, in his kindness and haste, did not understand nature. The restricting cocoon and the struggle is necessary. As the butterfly squeezes through the tiny opening, fluid from the body is forced into its wings. This long, tiring, intense struggle for escape is necessary for the butterfly to fly once it fights its way to freedom from the closed cocoon.
This is not only the nature of butterflies. It is the nature of life. It is our nature. If we do not have adversity and strife on our journey we cannot carry the weight that our dreams require of us. Everyone has gone through something that has changed them in a way that they could never go back to the person they once were. Some understand this difficulty for what it really is: Growth.
As an entrepreneur, I have often made the choice to travel the road less taken, one filled with uncertainty and fear. I dare to make the world a better place and somehow along the way find the courage to believe in my wings and let myself fly.
We must give ourselves permission to accept the struggles, for in them we find our true original, authentic self.
To those who crawl around swollen with desire we become leaders. Fierce are those with restrictions, strengthened by their journey, that not only find their wings but take to flight.
You can follow April on Linkedin https://www.linkedin.com/in/aprilabboud/