A man came across a cocoon. Fascinated, he witnessed that the butterfly is stuck and struggling to free itself. Distressed, the man decided to help. He took a pair of scissors and cut the cocoon and the butterfly emerged out.
But the butterfly’s body became distorted, swollen, and small. Instead of the wings enlarging, they shriveled. The body failed to contract. And the butterfly can not lift into the air.
Unknown to this man, his good intentions took him down the wrong road. His act of kindness interrupted the butterfly’s natural development. The struggle and pain were necessary for the butterfly’s body fluids to be forced to flow into its wings so it can fly. The man’s “enabling” disabled the butterfly.
Like the butterfly, we all must be permitted our own individual necessary struggles. In relationship to a loved one who is addicted or breaking down, helping him or her in ways that shield him or her from the natural consequences of his choices is “enabling” the dysfunction. It cripples a person’s growth and development. We rob that problemed loved one the opportunity to find his or her wings.