A friend once told me “I’m frightened of butterflies!” And I wondered how can someone (not just anyone, a scientist!) be scared of a delicate, light-weight, pretty insect which causes no harm? That’s when I realized, deep down inside, all of us have our fears which we don’t like admitting in front of others. I’m scared of bungee jumping – adrenaline rush is not my thing. A friend of mine doesn’t have the confidence to drive. Another is scared of the dark. Instead of scoffing, we should learn to accept others fears some of which may not be conquerable. Being sensitive and kind towards others struggles is key to developing empathy in our daily lives.
We all love admiring colorful butterflies with their attractive, patterned wings. Sitting in the garden I was in awe of the fresh green grass with its blades sticking out, dew drops adorning its surface. A tiny, pale yellow butterfly was flitting around silently and slowly from one grass blade to another. She whispers hope to the blades of grass which are stamped without concern and cut mercilessly, giving them solace that they will grow again.
Ah! The delight it gives me seeing a butterfly free and happy in its surroundings. Have you ever heard of the sound of a butterfly flapping its wings? It made me think “What does the butterfly have to go through to look so beautiful yet so silent?” Most of us take the beauty of nature for granted.
A butterfly undergoes tremendous transformation, a four-stage life cycle known as Metamorphosis.
The female butterfly lays her eggs on the leaves or stems of plants. Shape and texture of the egg varies, once they hatch – out comes the caterpillar. Being hungry it chews a lot of leaves. It sheds its skin few times, transforming with each alteration and finally reveals a new, larger skin. It is much larger than when it emerged from the egg and transforms into a pupa – a stage that lasts few weeks to several months. The pupa stays protected inside a hardened case and during this time the body parts slowly form. It fights a lot to come of its enclosure. The case splits open unfolding a graceful butterfly – free but not yet ready to take flight. Its wings have to strengthen, fighting yet again and once it is ready, the butterfly takes flight, feeding on flowers and searching for mates. It’s ready to start its life cycle once again!
What is it that we have in common with a butterfly? Day-to-day struggle.
Life is incomplete without its package of struggles. Hurdles and problems test us and help us find solutions and navigate our way through complex webs which are intricately woven into our life at different stages. It could be the stress of everyday small issues like being resilient to bullying, speaking in front of a crowd, learning to swim or trying to meet family demands! Difficulties help us become stronger. The power of change empowers us in ways we never thought imaginable. Whatever hardship we go through, may weaken us temporarily but after fighting persistently we emerge victorious!
We have to embrace change and learn to love the incessant struggling phase in our lives. It helps us develop into a superior version of ourselves.
Lessons from a Butterfly:
Immense amount of patience
Have faith in yourself
Size doesn’t matter
Strength to undergo transformation
Ability to adapt to change
Trust what is in store for us
Hope – butterflies emerge from something completely falling apart, you never know what tomorrow will bring
Like the butterfly we should put on our brightest and most splendid colors, spread our wings and flutter around spreading happiness, careless of what others think of us! Each one of us is unique, here to stay and thrive.