Why did I choose a butterfly to get a butterfly tattoo on my wrist? I get this question often. Here is the reason why.
As a child I used to love exploring the forests and wander off on my own, mainly in the summertime. I would get so much joy from the sun kissing my cheeks and I would try so hard to get hold of a butterfly-just for the opportunity to make contact with the gentle creature as I loved feeling the little legs tickle my hand if I was lucky enough to have her land on me. I would wait, listen and pay attention to all the sounds and hidden messages all around me in anticipation. There was instant music to my eyes when she would emerge. Vivid colors, like a moving miniature tapestry showing off her intricate patterns and fluttering on a wave of the wind: beauty in motion. I was so happy that she decided to appear and reveal herself to me. I had an intense amount of curiosity with butterflies, especially because I knew that she was a caterpillar first.
There is a story of the butterfly. A man found a cocoon of a butterfly. One day a small opening appeared. He sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to squeeze its body through the tiny hole. Then it stopped, as if it couldn’t go further. So the man decided to help the butterfly. He took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bits of cocoon. The butterfly emerged easily but it had a swollen body and shriveled wings.
The man continued to watch it, expecting that any minute the wings would enlarge and expand enough to support the body, neither happened. In fact the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around it was never able to fly.
What the man in his kindness, and haste did not understand is that the restricting cocoon and the struggle required by the butterfly to get through the opening was a way of forcing the fluid from the body into the wings so that it would be ready for flight once that was achieved.
Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our lives. Going through life with no obstacles would cripple us. We will not be as strong as we could have been and we would never fly.
We all have been through moments that have challenged us in our lives. That being said it is what we learn and what we choose to do with the lessons that count. What do you choose?
So the reason why I chose the butterfly is because to me means transformation on various levels. Obstacles are there for us to move through and grow. Additionally we change forms as we move through life and when you are ready to let part of yourself go to get to the next level there are always challenges, big and small. It’s only by giving up certain aspects of ourselves and building strength that we have the ability to fly. And that is why I have a butterfly tattoo on my wrist as a constant reminder that sometimes we go into cocoons of transformation and challenge in order to get to the next level in our own personal journey.
“How does one become a butterfly?” she asked pensively. “You must want to fly so much that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar.” (Trina Paulus)