December 13, 2012

The Firefly and the Butterfly

I've spoken many times about empaths and relationships because it's our interaction with others that cause so many highly-sensitive people to pick up detrimental energy. So much of this comes from our attempt to control a situation, manipulate an outcome, or make someone a prisoner of our expectations. Whether the relationship is with a parent being fearful of losing a child, or a lover being unfaithful, or a boss being a micro-manger, no relationship flourishes under these conditions.

Below is a poem I have written to show a contrast between a relationship in a fear-based paradigm and a relationship in a love-based paradigm of balance. Which "fly" is you in a troubling relationship right now?

The Firefly and the Butterfly

A firefly swooped near me
I caught her in my hands
and cupped her tightly so she could not flee
I would peer in upon my captive
just to watch her light up
I clinched my hands tighter
Snuffing out the air she needed
And closing the space around her
so she could not see the beauty of others
Her wings could not unfurl
Her spirit could not soar
Bound by my possessive grip
She had no choice or liberty
Her light faded
She became silent and still

A butterfly landed upon my open palm
His wing was slightly torn
I admired his gentle grace and beauty
but I dared not close my hand
for fear that I would crush his tender heart
and harm him in some way
Intently, I cast my eyes and restoring love upon him
and watched breathlessly to see if he would respond
Sometimes I would close my eyes and feel
the tickle of his wings, the pulse of his heart
or the movement of his tiny feet upon my skin
Soaking in the intense color and vibration
of all the life, freedom, and vitality he offers
I cannot hold him prisoner
while he heals and basks in the warmth of my hand
I realize the choice is not mine
Will he stay or fly away?

© Yvonne Perry 2012

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1 comment:

  1. Indeed good words, and I agree with much of this in general. The real devil is in the details of real change and development of a fear-based paradigm to a love-based paradigm, both individually and collectively. I have done research on use of "fear-based" and what I see as inadequate construction of its meaning. The article I just wrote on this is available in free pdf "The Problem of Defining the Concept of 'Fear-based.'" (go to and scroll down for document). I invite us to have further dialogues on this to improve our effectiveness in bringing about the changes we want. Here is the Abstract to that technical paper:
    Abstract: Over the past 25 years of systematic research on fear and fearlessness, the author has found an ever-increasing use of the term "fear-based" by many and diverse authors, teachers, professionals and citizens-at-large. Particularly in the last decade the term, much like "culture of fear," has become popular across disciplines and is reflective of an interest, by diverse peoples, in human motivation at this deepest core "emotional" level. Most every writer-critic, in a binary (polarized) way of thinking, believes (or argues) that "fear-based" is negative and destructive, if not the source of all conflict, evil, and pathology—it appears a universal knowledge and "truth" that this is so. Love-based is usually held up as the opposite (i.e., binary stance). Although the author (a fearologist) has also taken that binary positioning for many years, upon recent philosophical reflection and some research, this is less than a satisfactory position, especially without nuancing its validity more systematically and without having the critical dialogues required to ferret out what we are talking about. He concludes, typically, this increase of usage of the "fear-based" label, important as it is, has not been very enlightening but rather repetitive, moralistically judgmental and cliché, because of little to no conceptual defining, theoretical critiques, specific measurable assessments, or critical thinking of what to do with the term "fear-based" when it is opposed (for example) to "love-based" in real life situations, with real actors and organizations coming from either fear-based or love-based paradigms. The many (and increasing) critics of anything "fear-based" always implicitly or explicitly identify as not fear-based (i.e., more or less, love-based) and morally superior. Without more critical analysis of the concept and its uses, the author feels the labeling starts to become embedded in ideology, secular and religious, turning at worst into extreme violent ideologism—an oppressive way to think. This introductory paper, a philosophical reflection based on fearlessness (and a critical integral approach), offers an initial discussion of these problems of using the label "fear-based" and offers some recommendations of how to improve our methodologies, claims of truth, and teaching (i.e., education about, for example, fear and love as root motivational constructs).

    -R. Michael Fisher, Ph.D.