If you ask anyone to give you a symbol of transformation and you will most probably get a mention of the caterpillar. It is and remains a beautiful image: the insignificant and often ugly caterpillar who will wrap himself in his silk bud or cocoon and emerge like a glorious winged creature.
A chrysalis is the form a caterpillar takes before it emerges from its cocoon as a fully formed moth or butterfly. And if you were to open the chyrsalis halfway through its transformation, what would emerge isn’t a hybrid creature, half caterpillar and half butterfly, but just a puddle of liquid.
In order to be able to become a butterfly, the caterpillar has to fall apart completely, decompose down to its very essence, devoid of any shape or consciousness. It literally dies. There is nothing left of it. And from this liquid essence, the butterfly starts to put itself together, from scratch. Amazing right?
We sometimes say we want life to change, but we don’t, really.
For in order for life to change, we need to change ourselves. But to live through a metamorphosis such as we claim we crave, we have to surrender everything. It’s scary! That’s why the image of the butterfly is so pertinent as a symbol of change. It has nothing to do with a cosy nap inside a soft time capsule, followed by the fluttering of delicate wings.
The Story Of The Butterfly Struggle
There was a little boy who loved caterpillars. One day he found one, took him home and made a home for him. He watched this caterpillar everyday making sure he had plenty of food & water.
One day the caterpillar started creating a cocoon…here he would go through a metamorphosis and become a butterfly. This was so exciting, the little boy couldn’t wait to see the butterfly!
One day it happened, a small hole appeared in the cocoon and the butterfly started to struggle to come out. The little boy was so excited! But then he noticed the butterfly was struggling so hard to get out and it looked like the butterfly wasn’t going to be able to break free!
The little boy was so worried for the butterfly that he decided he had to help. He quickly got a pair of scissors and snipped the cocoon to make the hole bigger and the butterfly quickly emerged!
But the butterfly had a swollen body and small shriveled wings. The little boy sat and watched the butterfly expecting that, at any moment, the wings would dry out, get bigger and expand to support the swollen body.
But it never happened!
The butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings.
It never was able to fly…
He then learned that the butterfly was supposed to struggle. In fact, the butterfly’s struggle to push its way through the tiny opening of the cocoon pushes the fluid out of its body and into its wings. Without the struggle, the butterfly would never, ever fly. The boy’s good intentions actually hurt the butterfly.
Struggling is actually an important part of any growth experience. In fact, it is the struggle that creates YOU and gives you the ability to become the best version of YOU!