The Caterpillar Illusion

We’ve all heard the analogy of the caterpillar who miraculously turns into a butterfly.

It’s an inspiring and beautiful concept.

But it’s not the full truth.

Let’s look at nature a bit more closely.

While the caterpillar does, indeed, turn into the butterfly by way of the chrysalis, there are a few important points which are often overlooked:

  1. The caterpillar IS the chrysalis. After a series of eat, grow, molt cycles, her skin hardens and becomes the shell. (she takes what she needs from external influences to grow, but the actual metamorphosis is from within)
  2. In the chrysalis phase, the caterpillar appears dormant, but she is actually going through rapid internal change (what if she based her opinion of her progress upon what others thought?).
  3. When the time in the chrysalis is over, the butterfly doesn’t just burst forth and fly away. She slowly emerges, then stays in place as her wings gain strength. Step by step, she gains exercises and PRACTICES (she knows it will take time to strengthen and she does the work to be ready).

Next time you’re frustrated that you haven’t done x (you name it), think about the caterpillar/butterfly. Chances are, you’re exactly where you need to be in your metamorphosis.

Accept yourself.

Love yourself.

Keep moving forward.

Originally published at