The Answer to a Prayer

The Answer to a Prayer

A butterfly friend reminded me of the importance of today when it dove into a tiger lily in pursuit of its nectar. What better way to make a day delicious and nutritious than to dive in anticipating value?

I was sitting at the kitchen table reading from A Course in Miracles when I caught some movement in the periphery of my vision. It was a female Ruby Throated Hummingbird flitting amongst the hosta flowers in the garden just outside my picture window. My camera was handy so I snapped this photo—a little blurry but a frame of reference none-the-less. Hummingbirds are so quick, I couldn’t help but wonder how often she had visited without my knowledge.

Following in Ruby’s “steps” came a Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly. I grabbed my camera again, but this time ran outside with it.  If you have ever watched a Tiger Swallowtail dive into a Tiger Lily you know how sweet it is to witness. They often reemerge soaking wet with pollen.

The activity in my garden all happened so fast, as life often does. When I imported the photos to my computer, I had a chance to relive the experience, literally, frame by frame. That’s when the message came to me. It reminded me of the importance of today (and every day)—to dive into it in pursuit of its nectar.

It’s easy to forget to seek the nectar or even that nectar exists in life’s more challenging moments. That’s one reason why meditation is so awesome. We can always go back meditatively to relive an experience in pursuit of understanding what we didn’t gain the first time around; much like I did with the importing of the hummingbird, flower and butterfly images. Life happens so quickly at times but we can review it frame by frame in meditation to understand it on a ‘spiritual’ level—to view it through the eyes of our hearts.

Intellectually my experience was cool, but on a spiritual/heart level it was profound.

My work with clients is a blending of personal growth and spiritual pursuits. Just logical stuff really, but a logic that our minds have not necessarily been trained to decipher. This is why my work is educational. On a physical level life sometimes appears to just suck. But on a spiritual level there is always a blessing. So even if it is years later, in meditation we can review a situation in pursuit of the understanding that can grow us spiritually—in both love and integrity. The blessing wasn’t that I saw all this garden activity; the blessing was that this was an answer to my prayer. The blessing was the gift of its deeper meaning.

One way I fully receive a blessing is by allowing  it to touch me, to breath it in, to let it sink into my bones rather than go into my head with it. A blessing is meant for me personally but if you are being presented with a view from the gate—if you were drawn to read this and choose to let it sink in—there is likely an answer to your prayers hidden in my writing somewhere too.

The nectar that we didn’t even know was a possibility in the past will still be there waiting for us years later. This is why we sometimes can’t let an experience go. Initially we often react to life’s challenges. Reaction separates us from others. But with our hearts we can respond. Responding opens us to how we might actually be more similar than our egos would care to admit or to how we have felt similarly before. These are things we can work with—things we have the power to changethings that can grow us in both love and integrity.

So how am I similar to a Tiger Lily, Ruby Throated Hummingbird and Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly you might be wondering?

People come together to grow so sometimes I’m the Tiger Lily and sometimes I’m the Tiger Swallowtail and sometimes I’m the Hummingbird who prefers the Hosta to the Tiger Lily.

  • As with the Tiger Lily and Tiger Swallowtail, relationships are mutually beneficial. At first glance it might seem like the Tiger Swallowtail is the only one benefiting, but the Tiger Lily is benefiting from the pollinating. You might say that it is receiving a blessing. Both are just being themselves and both are benefiting much like what happens in human relationships. It’s easy to forget that every encounter is always mutually beneficial on a spiritual level so this image is a great reminder.
  • Sometimes I’m the Hummingbird who prefers hosta flowers to tiger lilies. The Hummer, as I like to affectionately refer to them, was not apologetic to the Tiger Lily for not being interested in its nectar. What nurtures my soul might not be what nurtures someone else’s soul. It’s nothing personal but our ego is great at telling us a story that makes it personal. And you know what often happens when we take something personally… DRAMA.
  • Have you been the Tiger Swallowtail; ending your day soaking wet with gratitude for all its blessings? Have you felt-guilt free because you knew without a doubt that your choices didn’t hurt anyone’s heart or your own? It’s a pretty awesome feeling isn’t it?

These are just a few things I realized—that became real to me—from allowing my butterfly, flower and hummingbird friends to touch my heart and soul. All logical stuff really.

And how was it the answer to my prayers, you might be wondering?

Because I’ve had some questions about happiness, recently. I sometimes fear being happy because I have an old parental voice in my head who tells me that it’s selfish and that I’m supposed to sacrifice my happiness so that someone else can be happy. Although that’s not logical I’ve been stuck here so it really helped to see it outside myself and in a different frame of reference. The Hummer’s choice was not selfish, did not cause suffering and did not prevent the Tiger Lily from proliferating. No drama necessary.

A lifetime of experiences to a seeking heart is like a meadow rich with flowers to a butterfly. Or to a hummingbird.

Today at moments I will be:

  • like the hummingbird flying backwards in time to review those occasions that still hold nectar from a perspective that can grow me spiritually.
  • like the butterfly guiltlessly enjoying sweet nectar and spreading love in the process.
  • and in some moments I will be still like the lily and open to receive the answers to my prayers.

I hope to see you frolicking in the meadow! Let me know if you’d like some assistance with the deciphering and flying backwards parts. Those skills can be a little tricky to master.

Friends in this Love,



  1. Scott

    Fantastic Trish! Thank you.

    1. Trish Whynot

      Glad you liked it Scott!

      Thanks for commenting!

  2. Kristen says:

    Can you elaborate on this as I am

    confused abt this part of it:

    "The Hummer’s choice was not selfish, did not cause suffering and did not prevent the Tiger Lily from proliferating. No drama necessary." The whole relationship between the two flowers and butterfly and hummingbird?

    1. Trish Whynot

      Great question! I can give you a general answer but it also depends on the circumstances.

      If the hummer chose to partake of the tiger lily rather than the hosta because it didn’t want to hurt the tiger lily's feelings (which is something a human might tend to do because we have free will and can override our instinct of what is best for us and others) it would have been a selfish choice.

      You might initially think it not selfish because you are trying to spare someone's feelings but always take it back to yourself. If you are trying to spare someone’s feelings it is usually because you fear that they will be mad at you for upsetting them. Making a choice to avoid someone being upset with you is selfish because you just made it all about you. It is manipulative and manipulative choices are fear-based. Do you see the drama of it all?

      The truth of the hummer choosing what was best for her was a drama free choice. It was nothing personal to the tiger lily. There were no feelings to be spared. It was clean, clear and simple.

      If the hummer had pretended to like the tiger lily better to get on the butterfly's good side that would be selfish as well because it would have been a manipulative choice--doing something in hopes of a particular outcome.

      Humans tend to use their free will to make things complicated. Fear-based choices hurt people but if your choice is made out of love for yourself and all involved with harm to none everyone benefits.

      And if you take someone's choice personally (fear-based or not) it could be bringing up a wound that is ready to be healed and that can be a positive thing in the end as well if you choose for it to be.

      Hope this helps!


      1. Trish Whynot

        And sometimes we don't know that we are acting selfishly until we realize that we have hurt someone. Welcome to the human race!

        Wisdom is born of experience.


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