The other day, my mind wandered to the concept of butterflies and cows. I thought about how these two creatures serve the earth differently and how each of us embodies a bit of both worlds. Some of us spend our lives serving others to the point of self-sacrifice while others project beauty onto the world while retaining their freedom to roam from one joyful experience to the next.
Now some people would claim that the butterfly acts selfishly as it flits from one beautiful flower to the next unencumbered by the world around it. Yet, when we catch a glimpse of a butterfly many of us feel like we have entered the world of enchantment. It reminds me of a child’s smile or a playful romp of baby animals. The experience takes our breath away and takes our mind away from negative preoccupations so that we focus on joy.
The cow on the other hand, serves as a domestic animal, often confined, and born to serve by sharing its body (dairy and meat) with other creatures, mainly human. The cow doesn’t necessarily attract us, nor does the cow usually leave us in awe leading to an enchanting experience, unless we see the cow as a holy symbol as with the Hindu religion. Yet, most societies favor the cow over the butterfly; the suffering to serve over true freedom and the reunion with a Greater Spiritual Force. We do this out of guilt and yet, what if we chose to become more like the butterfly offering our gifts the world from a detached and liberated space?
Do we serve out of expectations from others? Is our way of serving more ego-posturing than actual service? After all, the martyr receives accolades and attention in our societies because sacrificing for a cause or someone else has been etched in our consciousness for thousands of years. Yet, when it comes to the Law of Attraction and other Universal Laws, it’s no longer considered selfish to enjoy one’s life and to follow one’s bliss. In fact, Joseph Campbell recommended following the bliss and rebelling against anyone or anything that stands in our way of fulfilling our real purpose for living on the planet at this time.
And yet, many people will still align with the cow energy, especially when the gentle or docile creature stares at us with those big watery eyes. And I’m not saying that we never serve others because we live on the planet with 7 billion humans and all those myriads of creatures. But wouldn’t it be better if we inspired others by living blissful lives and giving them the tools to also experience bliss on earth? And wouldn’t we act as better role models if we aligned with the Source of All Things instead of sucking other people’s energy?
By nature, we are cooperative creatures and I believe in sharing and cooperation. However, I don’t believe in enabling others to the point where we don’t fulfill our own path. I like the saying of Jesus about teaching people how to fish instead of giving the people fish since the people become self-sufficient and most likely suffer less. There’s nothing worst than having to depend on others all the time. This robs of our confidence and our purpose. And in the end we are both the butterfly and the cow.
It comes down to balancing between giving and receiving; knowing when to serve and when to serve oneself without the guilt. I realize this lesson proves challenging to most of us. I know I struggle with it, but I know that I sometimes have helped people for the wrong reasons or they didn’t want my help in the first place. And always give from the heart. If your heart feels empty then wait until another time to give. And fly around like the butterfly from flower to flower, attracting joy wherever you go.
I’m an astrologer and intuitive coach specializing in supporting the creative process and the path to self-love. Sign up for a reading at Metaphysics for Everyday Living.