There’s something about delicate flying things like butterflies. No matter the color or size, a butterfly can make any child clap in delight and most adults smile with the knowledge that spring has finally arrived.
I grew up in an area of Texas that has the privilege of being on the edges of the Monarch Butterfly migration route out of Mexico. Though not in the direct path, the strong Panhandle winds would often scoop up a group of these beautiful, downy creatures and deliver them straight to my back yard.
Let’s take a few minutes and discover 5 Truths of Transformation that are discovered from the life cycle of the Monarch Butterfly.
1) How You Look Now, Is Not How You Will Look At the End of the Transformation
Imagine you are a caterpillar and some beautiful butterfly tells you that you will one day be just like her. “HA!,” you laugh, “That will never be!”
I believe that true transformation is simply the revealing of what is already inside of you; tadpoles to frogs and caterpillars to butterflies.
2) Find Some Place Safe to Hang Onto During the Transformation
Our backyard was COVERED with butterfly cocoons; on the eaves of the house and storage buildings, attached to the towering elm trees, hidden under the rails of the swing set. There are predators EVERYWHERE; little girls more curious than wise, hungry cats and over-excited dogs.
The most successful butterflies discovered a hidden place, out of the wind and weather. Eventually, those dry, grayish brown cocoons delivered majestic Monarchs.
[Tweet “In your journey of transformation, find people who support you. It takes time and it’s messy.”]
Unfortunately, not everyone will welcome your transformation. Some people are uncomfortable with the change and will want you to just stay the same ol’ person you’ve always been.
3) True Transformation Takes Time
The caterpillar’s transformation to a butterfly is a miraculous mystery. A caterpillar hides itself within the cocoon and emerges as a seemingly entirely different creature, indiscernible from its earlier form.
It can be hard to not become impatient with the process. Every step of the journey is important. A caterpillar must constantly eat to provide the nutrition it needs inside of the cocoon to become a butterfly. It has to escape the mishaps that can befall an abhorred crawling creature, to become a beloved flying beauty.
All that you experience is vital to your transformation. It can take from one month to one year for a caterpillar to become a butterfly. [Tweet “Your journey is your journey. Don’t measure your process of transformation against someone else’s.”]
4) Don’t Try to Fly Too Soon During Transformation
At an early age, I was taught to be careful how I handled these delicate, but incredibly strong creatures. Scales create the down softness of their wings. When they emerge from the chrysalis, the wings are wet, crinkled and uninflated. If the wings get torn or damaged, they cannot be repaired. The butterfly, though in its full form, is not yet ready to fly away. It has to take time to adjust to its new form.
A mentor is an invaluable asset in your transformation journey. A mentor is able to guide you along your path, enlightening you to the hazards and introducing you to the systems and people who can help you.
In the video, you see that the butterfly just walks around for a while while it’s wings dry and seemingly double in size. Take your time. You will fly, but you don’t want to be irreparably damaged in the process.
5) Your Transformation is Greater Than You Know
It is remarkable to see the immense size of the butterfly just moments outside of the chrysalis. You would wonder how such a tight cocoon could house such a regal creature.
YOU are that great creature, now hidden inside your cocoon. Little parts of you are emerging all the time. Day by day you are learning more about your core values, your gifts and talents and your unique voice in the world. As you release those qualities you can impact and influence the world around you.
The key function of the butterfly is to create more butterflies. Your influence and leadership will enable others to grow into the majestic creatures they are meant to be.
In my book Breathtaking! Discover and Release Your Greatness, I go into great detail about discovering your core values and passions, to become the best version of yourself.
You may not end up where you think you’re headed.
Remember those butterflies in my back yard? Though they were members of a great migrating phenomena, they didn’t end up with the rest of the flutter. It is important to have a clear vision of what you want, and to confess that vision regularly. It is also important to have an open heart and mind, always ready for other opportunities to show themselves to you. It might not be what you planned, but it’s just where you belong.
Romans 12:2: And do not follow the customs of the present age, but be transformed by the entire renewal of your minds, so that you may learn by experience what God’s will is–that will which is good and beautiful and perfect. Weymouth New Testament
Originally published July 28, 2014