Blueberries and Butterflies

*Thank you to Donna of Kia Maia for allowing us to share this piece. You can see more of her content here and her website here.* 

Butterflies and humans share a remarkable metaphorical resemblance. We admire the beauty of butterflies - colourful, carefree, and weightless - flitting about as if unburdened by worries, but really, they are tiny creatures navigating their lives much like humans. They reproduce, search for food, avoiding predators, adapting to their surroundings to survive. One such adaption is to fold in their beautiful wings to avoid attention. As humans, we share that tendency to suppress our individual beauty to fit into societal norms. This inclination to ‘fold our wings in’ can be especially pronounced among those who are struggling, whether with mental health, societal pressures, or self-esteem. By hiding their true selves, people aim to protect themselves from judgment, criticism, and potential harm. However, in doing so, they also hide their beauty and unique attributes that contribute to the diversity and richness of human experience.

For those facing personal challenges, the butterfly serves as a powerful symbol of the possibility of transformation and the emergence of a more vibrant self. The process of transformation resonates with the human experience of overcoming adversity and emerging stronger. The symbolism of the butterfly offers hope and inspiration, suggesting that, despite difficulties, there is always potential for renewal and growth. Humans often find it challenging to recognise and celebrate human vibrancy as society frequently teaches modesty and humility to the point that complimenting oneself or acknowledging achievements can feel uncomfortable. This cultural tendency to downplay personal strengths can lead to undervaluing ourselves. Just like the butterfly, each human’s distinct features, talents, and experiences contribute to the collective tapestry of humanity.

The metaphor of the butterfly extends to the idea that, while they can see their wings, they do not see their own beauty as others do, but they still contribute to the diversity of the world. We possess characteristics of potential and uniqueness, but we don’t see the beauty in ourselves that others do, just like the butterfly. But what if the butterfly could see how beautiful they are? What if humans could see and acknowledge how beautiful they are as themselves? We might then approach life with greater confidence and self-assurance, contributing to the resilience and adaptability of society. Moral of the story? View yourself as beautiful as you view the butterfly, and share it with the world.

So, what do blueberries have to do with all of this? … Absolutely nothing, you’re welcome. 


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