There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it’s going to be a butterfly. ~R. Buckminster Fuller
Butterflies hatch from a chrysalis, a stage in the life of a butterfly. It’s actually the hardened outer skin of a butterfly pupa. A cocoon is an external structure that is spun from silk and surrounds the pupa of many moths.
When people talk about the transformational imagery of butterflies, they usually make references to cocoons. Remember the movie, Cocoon? Maybe cocoon sounds less clinical than chrysalis, although chrysalis is a pretty word. Anyway, cocoons have become symbolic of transformation. Sometimes it’s just to rest, like being holed up on a rainy day under blankets and watching movies or reading books, emerging more rested and able to get back into life. Other times it’s on a bigger scale. Coming out of the cocoon can mean moving out on our own, changing careers, achieving personal growth.
As a self-help junkie, I love the transformational symbolism of butterflies. This little egg grows, outgrows it’s skin a few times, then becomes a gorgeous butterfly. What’s not to love about this? While I haven’t always felt like a beautiful butterfly, I can say that every time I have come through a difficult challenge or pushed myself to make change, I do feel better about myself. I feel stronger and happier and more at peace with my life. There’s beauty in that. Change isn’t always easy, and endings can be painful. The butterfly imagery always gives me hope.
Last year was really hard for me. My mom died. She was such a big part of my daily life. I miss her so much and spent a lot of last year in a cocoon, healing from the loss. I accept that it was her time, and I’m glad that she had a peaceful exit. Her body had become an inhospitable place for her spirit. She is free from it now, an ethereal butterfly.
Are you in the middle of change? If you need a nudge, check out this t-shirt on amazon. Maybe it’s your time to leave the cocoon.
Yes, I know technically I should have used “chrysalis.” 😀
Have a beautiful day.
What the caterpillar calls the end, the rest of the world calls a butterfly. ~Lao Tzu