My Butterfly Story

“Just when the caterpillar thought her world was over, she became a beautiful butterfly.”

I thought it was over. I knew it had to be over. I grew to a certain point and then everything stopped. I curled up, put my head between my knees and prepared for the worst. Inside, darkness surrounded me and I felt so alone. And even when I realized that it may not be over, I didn’t want to ever come out of my protective space. But over time, a change was coming. From the outside, it didn’t look like there was anything happening. It looked like I’d never come out of my shell. But, I was undergoing a gradual shift of great change and growth within. And when I was ready, I broke through the wall, spread my wings and flew.

Although it may not be as dramatic as the metamorphosis of the caterpillar to the butterfly, most of us have moments in our life where it feels like there’s no hope. Six years ago, I endured a traumatic life event. Unfortunately, it lingered like a black cloud until two weeks ago when the weight was lifted and I was finally able to close the chapter with a much better outcome than I ever imagined. Back then, I thought that life the best years of my life were over. I had loss of self-worth, humiliation and shame. I had no idea that my best years were just beginning. The details of our butterfly stories will all be different, but what is important is what we learn from them.

Here is what I learned:

Appreciate life. Every aspect. Every day. Find bliss in the little things.

Wake up with gratitude daily.

Forgive others.

Forgive yourself. (That’s even harder)

Know that you can make it through.

You are not alone. My Faith reminded me that God never left my side. And in tough times, you’ll see the people who will support you unconditionally.

Be patient. I had to be patient for over six years.

Learn acceptance. Often, it is what it is. I had to remind myself often daily.

Realize what is important in life and work often on your growth.

Be a victor. Not a victim.

Trust your journey.

While you are going through a setback (transformation), make no apologies if you have to get off Facebook or other social media sites and refrain from texting, calling or seeing friends and family as often. Think of your time away, by yourself, as your cocoon time. This is your time to heal and transform. It’s all in due time. Don’t rush it. Beautiful transformations can take a long time. Some butterflies take over a year to transition from a caterpillar. Don’t put a deadline on it.

The butterfly is a symbol of hope and a reminder that there is a beautiful, new life waiting for you if can get through the tough times. The caterpillar has to have a lot of hope to get through such a difficult experience. Initially, it must feel like life is over not knowing that it is about to undergo such a profound transformation. Have patience and never give up hope. Embrace your cocoon until you are ready to spread your wings and fly.

What’s your Butterfly Story? No matter what stage you are in, it will get even better. I am grateful for what I endured to get to the other side and appreciate the beauty far more than I ever have in life. In the last six years, I’ve started a non-profit serving my community and watching people accomplish goals they thought were unachievable, volunteered for medical missions in Africa and the Caribbean, traveled to places around the world that I never imagined seeing, had several fearless adventures, become a yoga instructor (yoga has been so healing to me), fallen madly in love and found my true self.

We can learn a lot from the Butterfly!

Spreading my wings in my INKnBURN Butterfly apparel!

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  1. Excellent!

  2. tyra says:

    I can completely relate to your butterfly story, as I read your heartfelt story, it reminds me of the struggles that I have endured in my life. You are a continious inspiration to me Claire! You are a beautiful woman inside and out. I am forever grateful that you crossed my path… May you always be blessed. Love you forever

    • Claire says:

      Thank you for your kind words. I am so grateful that we are in each other’s lives and I’ve been able to see the absolutely beautiful transformation that you have undergone. It has been a tough struggle for you, but you are coming out on the other side and are more beautiful than ever. Love you. Claire

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