People talk about caterpillars becoming butterflies as though they just go into a cocoon, slap on wings, and are good to go. The reality is, caterpillars have to dissolve into a disgusting pile of goo to become butterflies. So if you’re a mess wrapped up in blankets right now, keep going. Jennifer Wright, author
Wright is right (I just had to do that). According to Scientific American, while in the cocoon, the caterpillar digests itself, releasing enzymes to dissolve all of its tissues. If you were to cut open a cocoon or chrysalis at just the right time, caterpillar soup would ooze out. However, certain highly organized groups of cells knowns as imaginal discs survive the digestive process. These discs use the protein-rich soup to fuel rapid cell division forming wings, antennae, legs, eyes, etc.
Nature gives us signs and examples to help us with most of our dilemmas. The majesty of a sunrise or sunset give us hope for another day. The first green shoots of spring give us courage as we crawl out of winter. Now, for those of you who may be wrapped in a tear stained blanket wishing that life was different, the butterfly is another powerful metaphor. The butterfly’s past experiences tell us that life will not only be different, it will be beautiful and, one day, you too will soar as you emerge from your soggy blankets.
Affirmation: Nature speaks to me when I listen.
Coaching questions: What metaphors of nature speak to you? If you feel like you are dissolving in a cocoon of grief, use the story of the butterfly to visualize your recovery. Then, share it with another cocooned person.