An old butterfly
An old man walked into a mobile phone repair shop. “My mobile is broken. It’s stopped getting text messages.”
The owner checked it and shook his head. “What makes you think it’s broken?”
The old man frowned. “I haven’t had any messages from my kids and grandchildren for months. No even at Christmas.”
The owner sighed and handed it back. “I’m sorry sir. It’s not broken.”
A young butterfly
Yesterday, I was sitting and listening to a young man who felt useless to the core of his being. It was his firmly held belief that he was useless. I could see that he was not useless, but he had lost his partner, a woman in whom he had placed his trust, all his trust, and she had lied to him. It had shaken his world to be let down like this because he thought he had known her, but now he realised that he didn’t, that he hadn’t ever really known her. In doing this she hadn’t just hurt him for a single moment. She had caused him to wonder whether all their time together had been false. He didn’t just feel worthless. He felt as if he’d always been worthless and had only now come to know it.
“I am worthless,” he said again. He was like a butterfly which can’t see the beauty of its own wings. Plenty of human butterflies think they’re ugly, not because they are, but because when others reject them they take it as a confirmation of reality, but who are others to judge?
It is pointless to think that if you do something for other people, they will do it for you in return as well.
He believed he deserved her rejection because he was dependent on her love, and with no love for himself he had nothing to fill the void left after she was gone. His problem wasn’t that he lost his partner, it was that he lost himself at some point, and his own sense of worth was something that he had to get back. I wrote new book to help people steer through these hard moments, the ones which they need to overcome in order to feel whole and worthwhile.
With his mind awash with toxic thoughts and feelings, the young man said that he would be awake until morning, so rather than waste time I gave him a few things to do before the next sunrise:
- Start seeing the good in each situation
- Read one letter written by Charlie Chaplin
- Understand 7 things which we should not expect from others
- There are times when you feel that you can’t go on. There are mornings when getting out of bed to face yet another day feels impossible. These are the times to remind yourself that while you are reluctantly taking your first waking breath of the day, someone somewhere else is taking their last. None of us know for certain how long this miracle of life will continue, so while you still have breath be ever grateful for this day, and you will not waste it.
- Why read a letter from a clown? Charlie Chaplin may be best known as a comedian of silent cinema but he had plenty to say, much of it quite startling and wise, and all written in letters to his family. In one, he told his beloved daughter Geraldine, “Your naked body should only belong to those who fall in love with your naked soul”. There is more besides, much of it philosophical and enlightening.
I just created my new book, 100 Shortest Ways to You to show you how to recognise, find, and keep your kindred soul.
- Unhappiness often arises because our expectations are mismatched with our reality. So long as we keep yearning for others to do what they can’t or won’t do, we will always be unhappy. Therefore, we should let go of our heavy expectations before they slow us down to a stop.
Here are 7 things we should stop expecting from people:
Stop expecting others to give you love. They won’t until you love yourself first.
Every relationship we have ever had, are currently having or will have in future starts and finishes with us.
It’s a wonderful thing to experience the love of someone else, but it’s a terrible thing to depend on it totally. As loving creatures, we need to be self-sufficient enough to survive without the love of someone else. Self-sufficiency means having enough love for the person we are in order to survive alone. Only then can we go looking for love from a position of strength and certainty.
If we love ourselves then we are much less likely to cling to the first person who shows us the slightest bit of affection. The chances are that they will not be right for us.
(There is more about counter-productive approaches to relationships in my new book.)
What else should we stop expecting from others?
Please, continue to the 2nd page.