When You Stop Forcing Things

Today, one of the Italian Mamas tells me that you can’t force things. If I’m trying too hard, I need to step back.

“You have to think of certain things (especially mysterious things like creativity, romance, joy) like you’re chasing a butterfly. You really can’t chase a butterfly. You have to let it find you.”

I picture myself sitting quietly and patiently as I wait for the thing to land.

“No. Don’t wait for it like that. You have to do other things. Forget about the butterfly. It will land on you when you’re doing something else. It will be there at just the right time precisely because the pressure’s gone.”

We talk about all the ways we force things. We try to force our creativity, our relationships, and our own maturity even. We steamroll into things that cannot be approached in that manner.

Some things are as fragile as butterflies who dart away the closer we come. There’s another way to approach, and sometimes it’s by not approaching at all. It’s by doing everything else you’re called to do. It’s by forgetting about the butterfly–losing that particular obsession–and knowing it will land when it’s supposed to.

You invite by holding back. You beckon by stepping away.

Some things can’t be chased.

Have you found this to be true?


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