May 10, 2016

The Symbolic Meaning of a Butterfly’s Transformation.


“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” ~ Albert Einstein

Since my childhood I have felt a great affinity with butterflies, even though I was never really sure why. I found them intriguing and fascinating with their assortment of vivid colors and their graceful, delicate way of joyfully fluttering through life.

I was also drawn towards caterpillars and would spend long summer days seeking them out and collecting them in cardboard containers to create what I believed was a safe new home for them. I would feed them grass, weeds and provide a little drop of water and would be bewildered if they crawled away or if they didn’t survive for too long.

I learned one of the biggest life lessons through this and it was never to disturb nature, especially if it is for my own nurturing needs or naïve entertainment. At the time I thought I knew best and that the creatures would enjoy the fun-filled tiny homes I thought I was creating. Alas, it was clearly not the way.

As I got older I began to learn more about these magical winged beauties and found out more about their symbolic spiritual meaning. I was also highly intrigued by the evolution process they go through, and I found a strong correlation with the different phases I went through in my own personal life.

Particularly significant was the cocoon stage, where I also went deep inside myself for many dark days and nights. I meditated and basked in the safety and security of the enveloping enclosure that offered me a sacred space to figure out the complexities and intricacies stored inside my mind. The cocoon period was where I fully let go of everything that I had encountered along the way and I gained the courage necessary to restructure my life so that I was prepared for the next stage.

The most significant thing I have learned was that nothing stays the same and that by accepting and embracing transition, I can feel gratitude for the process by understanding that change is a natural part of all life. This gave me a profound sense of creative freedom and the time and space to adjust to my wings.

They say a butterfly has to beat its wings hard against the shell of the cocoon in order to break free. I resonate deeply with this too. I had many difficult days while incubated, and, in hindsight, I can now see I was gaining strength and preparing for my next phase. The wings were my armor and were necessary for self-protection, as up until then I had allowed many harmful entities to penetrate my being.

My connection with butterflies encourages me to appreciate this journey I am on, remaining present and enjoying every moment while respecting that it may twist and turn out of recognition throughout my evolution. I am fleeting, continuously changing emotionally, mentally and physically and I am aware that my transformation is not meant to be linear; it ebbs and flows aligned with the cycle of nature. I need not be afraid of the differences between who I was, who I am now or who I may become. They are all a part of me, however much I change, and if I try to resist, I will only make my own existence far more difficult, pushing against it instead of soaring and floating with it.

The essence or everything I experience is always within me and my entire being knows what it must do to continue onwards. Reminiscent of the butterfly, I too am highly sensitive and harmonize with the universe therefore I place my entire trust in my intuition and fully believe that it knows what I need and what it needs to do to guide the way.

I celebrate that the entire time I am growing, learning, taking shape, forming and that through it all I do not need to cling to what is happening now or look too far ahead. I can just surrender and be. I can freely exist with awareness, sensitive to the energies around me, just as a butterfly vibrantly does, accepting the inevitability of our magnificent metamorphosis.





Author: Alex Myles

Editor: Travis May

Photo: Cate D, used with permission


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