We’ve been on a nature pursuit at my house, exploring all things scientific.  Our most recent discovery involved an investigation into how a caterpillar becomes a butterfly.  Sure, the chrysalis forms and hangs upside down for a while, but what is really going on inside?  A few books from the library and some National Geographic research provided graphic descriptions (of which I will spare you the details), but let’s just say that it isn’t pretty.

In order to emerge as a beautiful butterfly, the caterpillar must first undergo a painful process that involves the dissolution of the body and insides of the caterpillar.  It literally releases chemicals that dissolve itself from the inside out.  Ewwww….  I don’t know about you, but that is NOT what I expected.  During this process, the caterpillar experiences significant pain.  Again, not the storybook answer that I expected or hoped for.  Yet this does not stop the caterpillar from going through the process.  For reasons beyond my understanding, the caterpillar KNOWS that it needs to go through these stages to emerge with what it longs for…wings to fly.

However, as I reflected on that process, I realized that this is often how life turns us into something more, something greater.  We go through a trial or test, an experience that forces us to endure pain and suffering, without knowing how long it might last or what may happen outside of our dark cocoon.  The question becomes…can we hold out through the process?  Can we allow the pain and process to change us into something greater, something more beautiful?  Can we enter into the cocoon, willingly or by force, and tolerate the transformation?  The entire process reminds me of the following quote by an unknown author:

“Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly…”



Wanda Jeffcoat, MS

Pre-Licensed Counselor, NCC, CCTP

Posted in Mental Health and tagged , , , .