The Life Cycle of A Butterfly

Can you imagine what it must be like to go through a transformation where everything about who you are changes, except for your nervous system? That’s what happens in the life cycle of every butterfly.

Stage 1. Egg

Not much happening in this phase of life. It is interesting to not that female butterflies will lay anywhere between 40 and 500 eggs in their lifetime. They also lay eggs on specific plants. They smell the pheromones of the plant with their antenna from a distance and when they land on the plant, they verify it’s the correct one by tasting it with their feet. This plant is specifically the best plant for their offspring when they become a caterpillar.

Stage 2. Caterpillar

Caterpillar. The sole purpose of the caterpillar is to eat, excrete, and grow. It takes in everything from the plant it was hatched on and gathers this nutrients to prepare for the next stage of life.

Stage 3. Chrysalis

During this phase, an outer “shell” is created to protect the insect while it transforms. Everything about the physicality of the caterpillar will dissolve into a DNA “goo” leaving only the nervous system in tact. This “goo” contains the information to create discs. These discs form the various parts of the Butterfly. When the transformation is complete, the Chrysalis will shed and the butterfly will be “born”.

In a recent visit to Aruba, I was able to experience a Butterfly Farm. The tour was really interesting and went into the finer details of how much butterflies like to drink (fermented fruit). Some of them cannot hold their liquor apparently. Okay, that was really funny to learn about, but the life cycle of the butterfly got me thinking about how that can be applied to humans. Have you ever had an experience where it feels like your entire identity seems to be literally falling apart? Your nerves are bare to the outside elements and you just want to lay around in a puddle of goo?

I thought so….I have certainly felt this way before in life. Maybe there’s something to be learned from observing the transformation of the butterfly. Before becoming a butterfly, the caterpillar takes in a lot of information and gets pretty “full” or “grown”. Then it goes and hides away from the world, later emerging as this fully formed being of beauty.

There’s a purpose to every stage of the Butterfly’s life and if you’re in the goo stage, stay the course, brighter times are ahead! Maybe you’re in the process of recreating yourself and you’ll emerge with a new life path and a new zest for existence. The old you may be completely gone, never to return…. what a relief!

Maybe there are people around you who are in the goo phase and they just need some time to re-organize themselves. I encourage you to take a moment and reflect on what phase of a butterfly’s life you are in and write your thoughts in the comment below. Do you have any words of wisdom for others in the goo phase?

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