For Better Or For Worse
In-Loveness Will Often Collapse Under The Weight of "The Worse"
Published on June 23, 2010
How many weddings have you attended where a portion of the vows has included the phrase “for better or for worse?” If you are like me, probably lots.
But most of the time when we hear those words, we are hoping for lots of “better” and not much (if any) “worse” for the newly-wed couple.
We operate as if the only thing love needs for its development and growth is “the better.”
Rare is the person who realizes that “the worse” is just as important for the development and growth of love as is “the better.”
Some may have heard the story of “The Beggar And The Chrysalis”:
Along a dusty road in India there sat an old beggar who sold cocoons. A curious young boy watched him from a distance day after day. Unexpectedly the beggar one day beckoned to the boy: “Do you know what beauty lies within this ugly chrysalis? I will give you one so that you might see for yourself. But you must be careful not to handle the cocoon until the butterfly emerges.”
The boy was enchanted with the gift and hurried home to await the butterfly. He laid the cocoon on the floor and became aware of a strange thing. The hidden butterfly was beating its fragile wings against the hard wall of the chrysalis. It appeared that the butterfly would surely perish before it could break the unyielding prison. Wanting only to help, the boy impulsively pried open the cocoon. Out flopped a wet, brown thing that quickly died.
The boy sadly returned and told his story to the beggar. When the beggar discovered what had happened, he quietly explained to the boy: “In order for the butterfly’s wings to grow strong enough to give support, it is necessary that it beat them against the walls of the cocoon. Only by this struggle can its wings become durable and beautiful. When you denied that struggle, you took away its chance for strength and beauty.”
We often think of “the worse” as an obstacle to the development and growth of love. But in reality, the hard times are a necessary part of the experience whereby the strength and beauty of love takes shape.