A butterfly is a symbol of transformation, romance, renewal, playfulness, spirituality, individuality, responsibility, gracefulness, celebration, and expansion.
The Astronomy Web
A butterfly’s very existence suggests an embracing of change has taken place.
New Year’s resolutions are all about a desire for change. They’re made in the spirit of hope each January 1st and most have been turfed by February 1st. This year, for me, will be different. I have recently set off on what I call my chrysalis adventure. I am determined to morph from caterpillar into butterfly, even at this late stage in my life. The tough part is the mushy bit that happens in the chrysalis. Letting go of who I am, the caterpillar me, and allowing myself to dissolve into nothing is terrifying.
The advantage the caterpillar has over a human is the caterpillar doesn’t have other caterpillars telling it not to build a chrysalis or move toward transformation. A human does.
We all have people in our lives who have never built their own chrysalises, either through fear of the unknown or a naivety of life’s purpose. Unfortunately, when these people become parents, they pass this fear, or naivety of the process, on to their children. I don’t want to be one of those.
The instinct to grow and transform, however, is as strong in humans as it is in caterpillars and will keep pushing us toward this goal. It wasn’t until my 65th year that I finally started listening and began the journey toward my own chrysalis. That doesn’t mean fear of the unknown had left me. It did not. In fact, it increased. After all I was planning my own death.
Building a chrysalis is building your own coffin believing that after your body has decomposed it will regenerate and you’ll be able to break out of the protective structure you’d built around yourself. It takes an immense amount of confidence in yourself and the process. You have to willingly let go completely of everything you were before in order to let the butterfly take shape.
It is also a process that needs to be done alone. There can be only one caterpillar inside the chrysalis. To enter a chrysalis adventure is to move forward alone, to let go alone, to melt down alone, to transform alone. There are no partnerships in this adventure.
But afterward, there is a lift off and a fluttering of iridescent wings.