We must always trust our own process, even if sometimes along the way things seem uncertain or nearly impossible. Change is good, and these butterfly quotes will show you just how powerful a transformation can be.
Some of the most beautiful things in life come from unsuspecting situations, so use these quotes about butterflies to inspire your own metamorphosis!
The butterfly has one of the most fascinating life cycles of all creatures. Before growing into an adult, it goes through various stages, with each stage having a different goal. For instance, caterpillars need to eat a lot, while adults need to reproduce.
The butterfly starts life as a tiny egg which hatches to form a caterpillar. Once it has hatched, the caterpillar needs to eat plenty of food so it can grow quickly.
As soon as the caterpillar is done growing, it forms itself into a pupa – the resting and changing stage. During this stage, it undergoes remarkable transformation, called ‘metamorphosis,’ to become a colorful and adorable butterfly that’s ready to share its beauty with the world.
We can learn a lot of lessons about our own growth process from the butterfly life cycle. The process of metamorphosis relates in many ways with our own moments of transformation.
For a caterpillar to become a butterfly it must change. Likewise, nothing in our human world is permanent. Some things go and are replaced by new ones. Sometimes we have to let the old go so that the new can come.
Despite the cocoon being the comfort zone of the caterpillar, it has to emerge from this state. Otherwise we would never have the beautiful butterfly. Similarly, you have to get out of your comfort zone and try new things if you want to move forward.
The butterfly is a great symbol for change, transition, adaptation, and growth. In that respect, below is our collection of inspirational, wise, and beautiful butterfly quotes, butterfly sayings, and butterfly proverbs, collected from a variety of sources over the years.
Don’t forget to also read our compilation of beautiful winter quotes that will warm your heart.
Butterfly quotes honoring your own metamorphosis
1. ”The mark of your ignorance is the depth of your belief in injustice and tragedy. What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the Master calls the butterfly.” – Richard Bach
2. ”Everyone is like a butterfly, they start out ugly and awkward and then morph into beautiful graceful butterflies that everyone loves.” – Drew Barrymore
3. ”Metamorphosis has always been the greatest symbol of change for poets and artists. Imagine that you could be a caterpillar one moment and a butterfly the next.” – Louie Schwartzberg
4. ”Death consists, indeed, in a repeated process of unrobing, or unsheathing. The immortal part of man shakes off from itself, one after the other, its outer casings, and – as the snake from its skin, the butterfly from its chrysalis – emerges from one after another, passing into a higher state of consciousness.” – Annie Besant
5. ”And when I was angry, when I was younger, I was in a cocoon. Now I’m a beautiful, black butterfly.” – Tracy Morgan
6. ”I embrace emerging experience. I participate in discovery. I am a butterfly. I am not a butterfly collector. I want the experience of the butterfly.” – William Stafford
7. “Adding wings to caterpillars does not create butterflies, it creates awkward and dysfunctional caterpillars. Butterflies are created through transformation.” – Stephanie Marshall
8. “We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.” – Maya Angelou
9. ”The butterfly said to the sun, “They can’t stop talking about my transformation. I can only do it once in my lifetime. If only they knew, they can do it at any time and in countless ways.” – Dodinsky
10. ”A caterpillar, after its deep slumber, ‘wakes up to reality’ to realize, that truth is not always bitter after all!” – Manali Oak
Butterfly quotes to celebrate your transformation
11. ”How does one become a butterfly?” she asked pensively. Orange Butterfly “You must want to fly so much that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar.” – Trina Paulus
12. ”There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it’s going to be a butterfly.” – Richard Buckminster Fuller
13. ”A great beginning is sometimes at the point of what you thought would be the end of everything.” – Dodinsky
14. ”I’ve always loved butterflies, because they remind us that it’s never too late to transform ourselves.” – Drew Barrymore
15. ”If nothing ever changed, there would be no such things as butterflies.” – Wendy Mass
16. “The great loneliness- like the loneliness a caterpillar endures when she wraps herself in a silky shroud and begins the long transformation from chrysalis to butterfly. It seems we too must go through such a time, when life as we have known it is over- when being a caterpillar feels somehow false and yet we don’t know who we are supposed to become. All we know is that something bigger is calling us to change. And though we must make the journey alone, and even if suffering is our only companion, soon enough we will become a butterfly, soon enough we will taste the rapture of being alive.” – Elizabeth Lesser
17. ”And when all the wars are over, a butterfly will still be beautiful.” – Ruskin Bond
18. “If there is one creature that represents my essence, it’s butterflies.” – Patricia Velasquez
19. ”Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.” – Nathaniel Hawthorne
20. “Beautiful and graceful, varied and enchanting, small but approachable, butterflies lead you to the sunny side of life. And everyone deserves a little sunshine.” – Jeffrey Glassberg
You might also like these flower quotes that will make you appreciate the beauty around you.
Butterfly quotes to inspire positive change
21. ”Butterflies are God’s confetti, thrown upon the Earth in celebration of His love.” – K. D’Angelo
22. ”I only ask to be free. The butterflies are free.” – Charles Dickens
23. “The butterflies…What an educated sense of beauty they have. They seem only an ornament to society, and yet, if they were gone, how substantial would be their loss.” – Phil Robinson
24. “Bees sip honey from flowers and hum their thanks when they leave. The gaudy butterfly is sure that the flowers owe thanks to him.” – Rabindranath Tagore
25. “Do you remember how you felt at seventeen? I do and I don’t (…) Imagine you came from outer space and someone showed you a butterfly and a caterpillar. Would you ever put the two of them together? That’s me and my memories.” – Douglas Coupland
26. “One can never consent to creep when one feels an impulse to soar.” – Helen Keller
27. ”We must remain as close to the flowers, the grass, and the butterflies as the child is who is not yet so much taller than they are. We adults, on the other hand, have outgrown them and have to lower ourselves to stoop down to them. It seems to me that the grass hates us when we confess our love for it. Whoever would partake of all good things must understand how to be small at times.” – Friedrich Nietzsche
28. “I’d be a butterfly; living a rover, Dying when fair things are fading away.” – Thomas Haynes Bayly
29. “Go on, hitch a ride on the back of a butterfly. There’s no better way to fly.” – Patrick Monahan
30. “Do ye not comprehend that we are worms born to bring forth the angelic butterfly that flieth unto judgment without screen?” – Dante Alighieri
Butterfly quotes to inspire you to keep moving forward
31. ”Love is like a butterfly, a rare and gentle thing.” – Dolly Parton
If you’re enjoying these quotes, make sure to read our collection of Dolly Parton quotes from the iconic actress.
32. ”I sting like a butterfly and punch like a flea.” – Si Robertson
33. ”If you want to fly, you have to flap your own wings!” – Claire Williams
34. “A butterfly symbolized acceptance of each new phase in life. To keep faith as everything around you changed.” – Lisa Kleypas
35. “When, within our souls and psyches we are made aware of a safe but insistent drum beat, repeated like butterfly wings in motion, we sense the message…that our inner self has begun its search for freedom.” – Mary Meeker
36. “We lose our souls if we lose the experience of the forest, the butterflies, the song of the birds, if we can’t see the stars at night.” – Thomas Berry
37. ”You’ve got to be like a butterfly and have a metamorphosis.” – Mike Markkula
38. “Open your heart and mind like the wings of a butterfly. See then how high you CAN fly.” – Zeenat Aman
39. ”To all the broken-hearted and anyone feeling sad, may your hearts heal and may you feel happy in your lives.Flutter as the butterflies do.” – Krystal
40. ”Read like a butterfly, write like a bee.” – Philip Pullman
Butterfly quotes to inspire and teach
41. ”I never really got obsessed about one thing for long. I was a bit of a butterfly and a magpie.” – Benedict Cumberbatch
42. ”Once you let people know anything about what you think, that’s it, you’re dead. Then they’ll be jumping about in your mind, taking things out, holding them up to the light and killing them, yes, killing them, because thoughts are supposed to stay and grow in quiet, dark places, like butterflies in cocoons.” – Helen Oyeyemi
43. ”For our people, butterflies are a symbol of hope. It’s said that if you capture one in your hands and whisper your dreams to it, it will carry them up to the heavens so that the wish can be granted.” – Sherrilyn Kenyon
44. ”When it comes to religion today, we tend to be long on butterflies and short on cocoons. Somehow we’re going to have to relearn that the deep things of God don’t come suddenly.” – Sue Monk Kidd
45. ”There’s a metaphor Vincent Eades likes to use: “If you examine a butterfly according to the laws of aerodynamics, it shouldn’t be able to fly. But the butterfly doesn’t know that, so it flies.” – Howard Schultz
46. ”When a caterpillar spins its cocoon, it goes through a transformative process and then emerges as a butterfly. Similarly, when we go through a practice of meditation and prayer, we loosen our egoic grip on a sense of self that is separate from the Whole and become vehicles of the emergent evolutionary paradigm of love, peace , compassion, wisdom, harmony and oneness that seeks expression on the planet.” – Michael Beckwith
47. ”Fighting has taught me that the caterpillar takes a while to turn into a majestic butterfly.” – Jesse Taylor
48. ”Cut a chrysalis open, and you will find a rotting caterpillar. What you will never find is that mythical creature, half caterpillar, half butterfly, a fit emblem for the human soul, for those whose cast of mind leads them to seek such emblems. No, the process of transformation consists almost entirely of decay.” – Pat Barker
49. ”Although the butterfly and the caterpillar are completely different, they are one and the same.” – Kendrick Lamar
50. ”For a new year to bring you something new, make a move, like a butterfly tearing its cocoon! Make a move!” – Mehmet Murat Ildan
Butterfly quotes that will change the way you think
51. “When you find yourself cocooned in isolation and you cannot find your way out of darkness…
Remember, this is similar to the place where caterpillars go to grow their wings.” – Necole Stephens
52. “Love is like a butterfly: It goes where it pleases and it pleases wherever it goes.” – Author Unknown
53. “Butterflies are self propelled flowers.” – R.H. Heinlein
54. “Like a butterfly stuck in a chrysalis, waiting for the perfect moment, I was waiting for the day I could burst forth and fly away and find my home.” – Emme Rollins
55. “Nature’s message was always there and for us to see. It was written on the wings of butterflies.” – Kjell B. Sandved
56. “It has been said that something as small as the flutter of a butterfly’s wing can ultimately cause a typhoon halfway around the world.” – Author Unknown
57. “How does one become a butterfly?
You have to want to learn to fly so much that you
Are willing to give up being a caterpillar.” – Unknown
58. “I dreamed I was a butterfly, flitting around in the sky; then I awoke. Now I wonder: Am I a man who dreamt of being a butterfly, or am I a butterfly dreaming that I am a man?” – Chuang Tzu
59. “Just living is not enough,” said the butterfly, “one must have sunshine, freedom and a little flower.” – Hans Christian Andersen
60. “Well, I must endure the presence of a few caterpillars if I wish to become acquainted with the butterflies.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery
61. “Happiness is like a butterfly: the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder.” – Henry David Thoreau
62. “Children are caterpillars and adults are butterflies. No butterfly ever remembers what it felt like being a caterpillar.”― Cornelia Funke
63. “Perhaps the butterfly is proof that you can go through a great deal of darkness and still become something beautiful.” – Unknown
64. “Just when the caterpillar thought “I am incapable of moving,” it became a butterfly.”― Annette Thomas
65. “When a caterpillar bursts from its cocoon and discovers it has wings, it does not sit idly, hoping to one day turn back. It flies.”― Kelseyleigh Reber
Butterfly quotes to broaden your thoughts
66. “This magnificent butterfly finds a little heap of dirt and sits still on it; but man will never on his heap of mud keep still.” – Joseph Conrad
67. “Butterflies can’t see their wings. They can’t see how truly beautiful they are, but everyone else can. People are like that as well.” – Naya Rivera
68. “I have four or five ideas that just keep floating around and I want to kind of just let one – like a beautiful butterfly, let it land somewhere.” – Gillian Flynn
69. “Don’t be afraid. Change is such a beautiful thing”, said the Butterfly.” – Sabrina Newby
70. “Just like the butterfly, I too will awaken in my own time.” – Deborah Chaskin
71. “It’s only when caterpillarness is done that one becomes a butterfly. That again is part of this paradox. You cannot rip away caterpillarness. The whole trip occurs in an unfolding process of which we have no control.” – Ram Dass
72. “The butterfly does not count the months of its life but rather it counts the moments and yet all the time it has is still enough.” – Rabindranath Tagore
73. “Flowers and butterflies drift in color, illuminating spring.” – Unknown
If you’re enjoying these quotes, read our collection of spring quotes, celebrating the new season.
74. “Awaken to the universes simple gift of the butterfly. Watch with fascination and joy as a jeweled treasure glides by and gently touches your soul.” – K. D’Angelo
75. “What’s a butterfly garden without butterflies?” — Roy Rogers
If you’re enjoying these quotes, make sure to read our collection of garden quotes about the power of nature.
Butterfly quotes to elevate your mind
76. “Butterflies are self-propelled flowers.” – R.H. Heinlein
77. “Just living isn’t enough,” said the butterfly, “one must have sunshine, freedom and a little flower.” – Hans Christian Anderson
78. “I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly dreaming I am a man.” – Zhuangzi
79. “Be like a butterfly and a flower—beautiful and sought after, yet unassuming and gentle.” – Jarod Kintz
80. “Soar up high with the beauty and grace of a butterfly.” – Unknown
81. “The butterfly does not look back upon its caterpillar self, either fondly or wistfully; it simply flies on.” – Guillermo del Toro
82. “The butterfly is a flying flower, the flower a tethered butterfly.” – Ponce Denis Ecouchard Lebru
83. “The fluttering of a butterfly’s wings can effect climate changes on the other side of the planet.” – Paul Erlich
84. “The butterfly flits from bloom to bloom, as not to miss one fragrant plume. In her sight exists no garden finale, only paradise of flowered hill and valley.” – K. D’Angelo
85. “What the caterpillar calls the end of the world the master calls a butterfly.” — Richard Bach
Other inspirational butterfly quotes
86. “The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough.” – Rabindranath Tagore
87. “Someday, I will be a beautiful butterfly, and then everything will be better.” – Unknown
88. “As with the butterfly, adversity is necessary to build character in people.” – Joseph B. Wirthlin
89. “Butterflies…flowers that fly and all but sing.” – Robert Frost
90. “When I ran, I felt like a butterfly that was free.” – Wilma Rudolph
91. “Beautiful and graceful, butterflies lift our spirits with their loveliness and lyric flight.” – Gloria B. Schlaepfer
92. “Failure is like a caterpillar before it becomes a butterfly.” – Peta Kelly
93. “Butterflies love to be out in the sunshine, just like people. You can look for them on warm, bright sunny days.” – John Woodward
94. “Butterflies, they are like dream flowers, childhood dreams, which have broken loose from their stalks and escaped into the sunshine.” – Unknown
95. “Americans consider the butterfly a symbol of good fortune and some tribes believe they bring the blessing of sleep and peaceful dreams.” – Tom Frost
For even more inspiration, check out our list of new beginning quotes about starting afresh.
More butterfly quotes and sayings
96. “I almost wish we were butterflies and liv’d but three summer days – three such days with you I could fill with more delight than fifty common years could ever contain.” – John Keats
97. “The caterpillar does all the work, but the butterfly gets all the publicity.” – George Carlin
98. “Life is short. If you doubt me, ask a butterfly. Their average life span is a mere five to fourteen days.” – Ellen DeGeneres
99. “We are all butterflies. Earth is our chrysalis.” – LeeAnn Taylor
100. “Some things, when they change, never do return to the way they once were. Butterflies for instance, and women who’ve been in love with the wrong man too often.” – Alice Hoffman
101. “You can only chase a butterfly for so long.” – Jane Yolen
102. “Among the varied species of insects, butterflies are the most poetic.” – Ana Gerhard
103. “Butterflies are the most beautiful creatures ever. They should call them beautiflies, don’t you think?” – Richelle E. Goodrich
104. “Butterflies used to reproduce on the native plants that grew in our yards before the plants were bulldozed and replaced with lawn. To have butterflies in our future, we need to replace those lost host plants, no if’s, and’s or but’s. If we do not, butterfly populations will continue to decline with every new house that is built.” – Douglas Tallamy
105. “Catching butterflies won’t give you a taste of freedom but the knowledge that weights are not carried in wings.” – Goitsemang Mvula
Which of these butterfly quotes was your favorite?
With the ups and down of life, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with unhelpful thoughts and feelings that can consume us and get in the way of finding joy and meaning in life.
The life cycle of a butterfly can teach us a lot about letting go of negative thoughts and feelings and finding a way to make progress. Hopefully, the above quotes will inspire you to keep moving forward regardless of circumstance.
Did you enjoy these butterfly quotes? Which of the quotes resonated with you best? Let us know in the comment section below.
March 15, 2021 6:00 AM EST