If you’ve ever dreamt of being in a field surrounded by flowers and other vegetation, then out comes a butterfly; you probably will enjoy yourself in your dream. This is what makes understanding butterfly dream meaning and analysis so difficult.
After all, what’s better than seeing Mother Nature at its best?
Your dream scenery makes for a very calming and peaceful moment.
But like most people with this type of nighttime vision, you probably would easily forget your dream.
This is what makes truly understanding butterfly dream meaning and analysis difficult.
These types of dreams are very easy to forget.
We tend to focus more on traumatic dreams like being chased by zombies, being threatened by cannibals, or realizing that we have leeches on our skin and other body parts in our dreams.
But butterflies, not so much.
It is too bad because when your subconscious is using this dream symbol, it’s trying to communicate with you very important realities that you may have overlooked or are actively trying to run away from.
General meaning of butterfly dreams
Butterflies, for lack of a better word, are magical creatures.
I don’t use that term lightly, and it’s not an exaggeration.
A butterfly starts its life as a worm.
There’s no other word that does justice to the shape and the function of the larval stage of a butterfly.
When it’s a caterpillar, it looks like a worm.
In this stage, it just crawls on its belly and eats a lot of leaves and vegetation.
Many farmers hate caterpillars, because of their damage, especially in large numbers.
But after some time, the magic happens.
That disgusting worm that crawls on its belly hardens into a shell.
It is called the cocoon.
And for several days, not much of anything is happening.
You see, this thing’s stuck on the leaf hanging upside down.
You might even think it’s dead.
Then, after a while, the cocoon breaks open, and out comes this beautiful, often multicolored, flying creature, the Butterfly.
Butterfly dreams are centered on the metamorphosis that this animal goes through.
If you’re looking for a more appropriate and wide-ranging symbol for change, you can’t do better than the Butterfly.
This is precisely the meaning of your dream.
All of us have to go through change.
You’re changing right now.
Just because you’re not aware of it or you can’t quite reduce it to words or possibly even measure it doesn’t mean it’s not happening.
After all, many things are happening that are beyond your ability to see, hear, touch, taste, and smell.
But just because they’re not on your sensory radar doesn’t mean they don’t exist.
Your subconscious is using the butterfly symbol to let you know that certain changes are at play in your life, and if you’re not aware of them, you must start observing them soon.
If not, they will have a profound effect on your life.
And the worst part of all of this is that you will be surprised.
It doesn’t matter if it’s a good or bad thing.
You’re looking for some consciousness of change because consciousness and awareness laid the foundation for a sense of control.
Now we know that we really can’t control the world.
Just as you can’t control gravity, you can control the situations you find yourself in.
You can control how you emotionally respond to the stimuli that the world sends your way.
It might seem too little too late, but from an individual level, this is a lot of control.
Butterfly dream images represent the process of change that is all around you.
Understanding the scale of changes and the forms that the changes take in a butterfly’s life changes our own lives.
It all starts small, even seemingly inconsequential.
What are the things you’re doing now that you feel have no consequence?
You may think watching TV or tooling around on social media for three hours straight doesn’t hurt anybody.
And you may be right, at least in the short term.
But have you ever thought about the other things you could be doing?
Have you ever thought about the skills you could be learning, the relationships you could be building, the new people you could be meeting, the work you could have been putting on your body, or additional work that you could have been putting into your business or your job?
Like most people, you probably don’t think about all these things.
But if it were fast forward several months or even several years from now, and you still keep the same habits, what would the effect be?
You probably will be a little bit fatter and a lot dumber.
I don’t mean to say that harshly.
But there’s no way around it.
Because you only grow when you challenge yourself.
You only grow when you explore new territory.
But if you find yourself safely within your comfort zone and not lifting a finger to challenge what you know or to go beyond what’s comfortable, things scale downwards over time.
You find yourself less and less able to handle stress.
You have to be like the caterpillar.
It has to go through the hassle of metamorphosis.
Do you think it’s fun being frozen in place for a long time?
If you’re claustrophobic, you know the answer.
But the sacrifice is worth it.
From an animal that can crawl wherever it wants, allowing itself to be frozen in place for a long time only to come out as a butterfly is a worthwhile sacrifice.
Put in the work to unleash the very best version of yourself
Everybody’s got an idea of who they could be, what they can do, and “the best life” they could live.
Ask anybody on this planet, even the most oppressed person living in the bleakest circumstances they will have an idea of what a good life is all about.
The answers might shock you because they seem so basic to you.
You’re probably reading this in the comfort of a nice cafe in the middle of the United States.
You’re enjoying a climate-controlled environment with all your basic needs taken care of.
No people are looking for you, wanting to end your life, or threatening you with robbery.
You’re just doing your thing.
What if I told you that for many people on this planet, getting paid $3 per day is the best thing they could hope for?
What if I told you that many people would be beside themselves in happiness when they have access to clean running water inside their homes?
You know, the basics.
This is the power of perspective.
And when you refuse to challenge your comfort zone, you become focused on preserving what you have.
You lose perspective.
What you have, it turns out, is a lot.
And going beyond what you normally do or taking a break from your day-to-day routine would feel like a sacrifice.
Do you see how this works?
Do you see how a little bit of perspective can illuminate what you’re dealing with?
Because all of us have to deal with this creeping sense of entitlement.
We don’t want to lift a finger to expand our competence.
We feel confident in what we’ve done in the past or what has been handed to us, that we feel entitled to things being comfortable as before, but as I have mentioned earlier, you cannot coast in life.
Whatever you enjoy today is in danger of losing because you are unwilling to fight to expand them.
Please pay close attention to what I just said.
I did not say fight to preserve them.
I’m saying fight to expand them.
Because people focus on preservation, they forget that the skill set you need to keep receiving what you’ve been getting all this time can only come from wanting more.
Going higher, pushing for more.
When you dream about butterflies repeatedly, your subconscious tries to tell you that things are scaling down in your life.
The quality of your relationships has turned a corner, and if you’re not careful, they will reach a point where your partner will leave you, or you will want to leave.
The same goes for your body.
You may be thinking that your routine is fine.
When you look in the mirror, you’re okay.
You’re not getting morbidly fat.
But if you scale up what you’ve been doing, you keep it up for a long enough time, and people will see you in a completely different light because you’ve gained a lot of weight or you’ve gotten weak.
The problem is that nothing has changed when you look in the mirror and see the same older person.
Because your mindset preserved that image.
You’re blind to the fact that you are now unhealthy and getting unhealthier by today.
Do you think people who are morbidly obese look in the mirror and say, “There’s something fundamentally wrong with me?”.
Some do, but not all.
Most have grown to accept where they are.
They say to themselves, “This is my identity. This is who I am”.
If you want more and a better life, please understand the power of the butterfly in your life.
It paves the way to the answer.
The answer is a struggle, suffering, hardship, testing, and possible defeat, humiliation, and disillusion.
That is the cycle of life.
That is the great trajectory of achievement, victory, and defeat.
It has to be scaled.
It has to be confronted.
It has to be dealt with on a day-to-day basis.
But when we insist on sitting on our butts and doing what we did the day before and the day before, we’re only setting ourselves up for a big letdown later.
You must go through metamorphosis not just if you want things to be better but to preserve what you have, paradoxically enough.
The butterfly spiritual element
Whenever you look at a person, please understand that you’re not just looking at the person’s physical traits.
That person’s total package also includes their spiritual dimension.
By “spiritual,” I’m talking in broad terms.
Usually, when people think of spirituality, they think about the person’s connection to the supernatural that we can all agree on.
But there’s more to it than that.
Because your mindset is also spiritual.
Your worldview, personal narrative, and self-image all contribute to your spirituality.
Have you ever noticed that some people look for God, but when they do find them, the God they find looks exactly like them?
Sure, God did create us in His image.
But in this context, people are looking only for spirituality that best fits what they want.
And they throw everything else away.
They dismiss these other details as inconsequential.
That’s too bad.
Because that is not real spirituality.
You have to go beyond the comfortable and the familiar.
You have to confront these serious issues.
That’s how you grow.
That’s how you overcome it.
And unfortunately, when we start looking at God as really just an extension of our egos, it’s easy to convert the idea of the supernatural or the supreme being into essentially a cosmic vending machine.
How many times have you prayed because you needed something?
Once the thing you needed or the danger you were praying to avoid has passed.
And things are back to normal again.
What do you think happens?
Like a genie, we order “God back into the bottle.”
What you’re praying to is not God of the universe, not God of the author of ultimate reality.
What you’re praying to is yourself.
You are engaged in nothing more than wish fulfillment.
When you dream of butterflies and other images, your subconscious is trying to communicate your need to experience deep spiritual metamorphosis.
I know that the words I just shared regarding your spirituality might seem harsh, even judgmental.
They come from a deep place because I’ve been there myself.
But life is a journey.
Just as a caterpillar goes through a journey starts out crawling on its belly, eating only leaves and then it ends the journey as a
majestic butterfly capable of soaring to heights.
It ends in a form that is capable of living up to its full potential and embracing its universal destiny.
You are also to do the same.
And this includes your spirituality.
The belly crawling part is very easy to see.
This is when we pray to God only when we need the stuff to happen in our lives.
We feel bitter at God because our prayers were unanswered.
We say things like, “Am I not good enough? Didn’t I follow your commands? Don’t I read the Bible? Don’t I preach to people around me when I go on a mission, or do I give to the poor and visit the sick in the hospital?”
And then the list goes on and on.
But what’s missing from that kind of line of thinking?
That kind of thinking is, “Did I love God in the first place? Though I love him. And if I do, I would realize that God’s mind is not mine.”
His ways are so much higher than our ways.
And that’s why he does things in his word that defy human understanding.
Who in their right mind would leave 99 perfectly good sheep behind to look for one that sheep lost?
Today, shepherds are business people.
There is such a thing as operational costs and modest losses.
In the case of 99 good sheep and one lost sheep, the lost sheep will always lose.
If we change the proportion to 80/20 depending on how much mutton is selling per pound, 80/20 might still be a good ratio.
Even a 50/50 split can be tolerable in high inflation scenarios for many sheep-raising operations.
The point is that God doesn’t operate on our level.
On our level, we can excuse all sorts of pain, suffering, and evil.
But God’s mind is not our mind.
He seeks the lost.
He continues to give and give and give, even though we only respond in evil, greed, and selfishness.
The spiritual journey of the caterpillar represents the journey from seeing your relationship with God from the perspective of somebody needing answered prayers to that of a co-worker with God.
This is a hard transition to make.
Because many people have a utilitarian view of God.
God only exists primarily to serve your needs.
And if it doesn’t do that reliably enough, we put ourselves on this philosophical pedestal and say, “What happened, God? Where are you? Why do bad things happen to good people?”
Well, Jesus had a great answer for that.
He said, “Why do you call me good?”
There’s only one good: God the Father in heaven.
Do you see the problem with that question of why do bad things happen to good people?
The problem is in the assumption that there are such things as good people.
The Bible is clear: All have fallen short of the glory of God.
And tons of other verses from the scriptures hammer home the point that humans are fallen.
The prophet Isaiah says that the righteousness of men is like filthy rags.
When you pay close attention to the Hebrew word he used for rags, it’s the same word the Hebrews have for female sanitary cloth.
That’s what they use for menstruation.
That’s human righteousness.
That’s the best humanity can come up with when it comes to morality.
Our righteousness is not the same as God’s righteousness.
His righteousness is real.
And we can only claim it through faith, not by how good we are because if you read what I just laid out, that is impossible.
There is no righteousness to trade in for God’s righteousness.
There’s no way to earn that favor.
It can’t buy our way to heaven. In spiritual metamorphosis, we have to go through that mind shift where our spirituality is centered on our needs and what’s missing in our lives.
Instead, it becomes one of servanthood, “Let your will be done. What is your will for me, Lord? Tell me to go, and I will go.”
A tall order indeed.
Because we have been enslaved to ourselves for so long.
Do you think a caterpillar is having a good time when it is in a cocoon?
As I mentioned, it wandered all over the place, eating leaves.
It had freedom or what he thought was freedom.
The same goes with a Christian journey.
Before you became a Christian, you thought you had freedom.
Even if you were a normal Christian going to church every Sunday, how you defined your faith gave you tremendous freedom.
There is such a thing as compartmentalized faith, where we put Jesus in a box, and for everything else, we leave it to ourselves.
Every other box is open, but Jesus is in a specific box.
We have to say the right words, go to the right places at the right time once a week, then, in our minds, Jesus is taken care of.
We are spiritual people, congratulations.
But that’s not reality.
God doesn’t want 10% or, in the case of one day a week, 14%.
If you look at people who attend church every Sunday, what do they do before and after assuming they get to church on time?
A lot of times, they’re not reading the Bible.
They’re not helping the poor, volunteering, going into hospitals, or sitting in jails.
No, it’s just part of programming.
10 to 12 church Sunday, done deal.
I’m using this to highlight how we handle spirituality.
When you dream of butterflies, your subconscious speaks to you in terms of symbology.
You have to go through spiritual metamorphosis for you to soar like a butterfly to truly take in the fullness of God’s presence in this world and your life.
And what makes this interesting is that God has a way of getting you where you need to go through disasters, challenges, disappointments, heartbreaks, failure, disease, I could go on and on.
At the very least, when you see butterfly dreams and you’re wondering what the spiritual implications are, focus your attention on trying to claim the blessing out of every difficulty in your life.
If you’re able to do that, hopefully, with the help of God, as mentioned in your prayers, you will be able to live a fuller life.
There’s an old saying, “You only miss the water when it’s gone.”
Having access to clean water every day becomes so ingrained into your routine that you don’t even see it anymore.
You assume that it’s there.
But once it’s gone, you miss it.
The same applies to our day-to-day confidence.
We can say that we are followers of Jesus, Allah, or whatever spiritual tradition you may be a member of.
But that’s within the context of your comfort.
The almighty often shows his love for us and his concern for our spiritual journey that he removes some of those things we take for granted.
And when that happens, we are left in a position where we can go one of two ways.
We can ask ourselves, “Why do bad things happen to good people? I’ve been good enough. So why is this happening to me? Why aren’t my prayers being answered? Why are these bad things happening to me proactively?”
We can do that.
But the thing is, you have to understand that we’ve been doing that this is not exactly new.
You probably know people were going through that.
The other way is to ask, “Where is the blessing in this? How do I become stronger in my faith in God? How do I see the real face of God because of these unfortunate things that have happened to me? I don’t blame him. I don’t run away from him. Instead, I surrender all, strip away my ego, and tear down the veil of my selfish ignorance to grasp at his image because I only need to look at his face, and I know I will be okay because he is the answer.”
Not the rent, not the mortgage coming in time, not the credit card bills being taken care of, not the kids being healthy, not my cancer going away but him and only him.
That is when you know that your spiritual butterfly wings are finally unfurling.
But please understand that it’s very hard to be in the cocoon.
But we all have to be in that cocoon at some point in our lives, and it’s not a comfy place.
Our limits are stretched, and our old assumptions are challenged and broken in front of our eyes.
But if you discover to trust in God, things will be okay.
Trust is not reciting prayers.
Trust is not saying the right things at the right time to the right people to make the right impression.
It goes way deeper than that.
Trust is when all your assumptions focus on God, “God will find a way. And I’m not doing this because I’m a coward. I’m not doing this because I’m lazy. I’m doing this precisely because I’ve tried relying on myself, leading to a dead end. I’m saying this because now I truly believe.”
That’s where we need to go.
That’s when things become real.
You have to understand God is so gracious that even in our deluded fake beliefs, he still has us covered, his eyes holding us in our hands.
Of course, he’s a very patient parent.
If you’ve ever had to work with your children when they’re hard-headed, you know exactly what I’m talking about.
And that’s who we are.
We’re hard-headed children.
But he continues to provide day after day, moment after moment, a bus could have hit you while you’re reading this blog post, but it didn’t.
That’s why you reach this part of the post.
God is always providing for you.
He always has.
But the problem is we focus on the blessings we can see, hear, touch, taste, and smell, usually defined based on our prayers.
So when our prayers don’t get answered precisely in the form that we want them in at the time, we want them.
We say, “Why, Lord, why do bad things happen to good people?”
That’s a slap in the face of the eternal.
What are the words of an ungrateful child because you only need to open your mind to all the things that could happen?
You can also open your mind to the blessings you have right now.
You may think, “Okay, I’m reading this blog post. I’m from a developing country. I live in this place. I don’t have that much income every month. I don’t have this and that.”
But do you think you’re not living in a privileged position compared to other parts of the world?
Or, let’s even forget about where you live.
How about the fact that you’re reasonably healthy enough to read this?
Would you think that even for a split second, somebody on their deathbed wouldn’t want to switch places with you right now?
God is always blessing us.
So in our spiritual journey, we have to let go of the caterpillar and, by trust and faith in Him alone, touch the hem of his clothes, just even the smallest bits and pieces, just the hem, you know, the outer edge that’s all we need to be healed of this mindset.
Where we shift from self-love to the love of God to agape.
Where we shift from Eros, a sensual physical love, or even Philo’s, which is a selfish love of family and preservation, to agape.
Is it adorable?
Well, there is the symbol of the butterfly.
And you’re not dreaming these dreams for no good reason.
Live out your faith
It’s very easy to think that we believe in the right things because everything makes sense, intellectually and emotionally.
Many people can even pick up the Bible and come up with verses that justify their beliefs.
Be that as it may.
Belief is not going to get you into heaven.
Belief is not going to unite you with God.
Do you know what will happen?
Faith is when belief is lived out.
It’s one thing for a man to say he believes in gravity.
But it’s another to say he doesn’t believe in gravity.
You’re going to make a big deal out of it.
All those who believe in gravity are fools.
But when you put them in a situation like driving off a cliff, you’d be surprised how much of a believer in gravity it is.
Faith cannot be faked.
Because faith extends beyond what we say or what our census designation is every four years.
And somebody comes to your door with a clipboard, and you check Christian, Muslim, Jewish, or other.
Then under the Christian, there are many boxes: Methodist, Baptist, Oneness Pentecostal, Iglesia ni Cristo or INC, Seventh Day Adventist, Episcopalian, and then Catholic, and many others.
That’s not the faith that I’m talking about.
That is not a label.
Instead, this is the belief that is lived out.
It’s lived out in the form that your assumptions are changed by it.
The way you view reality and process and work with reality is changed by it.
You have to understand that when you look at the life cycle of a butterfly, what comes out of that cocoon is, for all intents and purposes, a completely different animal.
God is calling us to do the same.
If you look at most religions throughout the world, this transformation is called for.
And this is why a lot of people misunderstand Jesus’s parable of talents.
It’s not the money nor the fact that the master has rights to the profits.
And it isn’t about being unfair.
The third servant raised all those points but was completely blind to why the master entrusted them with talents.
We’re supposed to change.
It’s not the focus.
It isn’t really about how much money you made.
It’s the fact that you ventured out there, you took risks, and you were willing to change.
You were willing to learn.
Because the way Jesus framed the story was when we compare one instance of profit against another instance of profit and then an instance when the money was preserved.
He didn’t mention loss.
But you have to read between the lines.
When you are looking to grow money, there is always a risk of loss.
For every reward that you desire, there is a risk that you have to deal with.
And God didn’t say, “Avoid all risks.”
Because if he did, he would have rewarded the third servant.
The third servant was about preservation, “Here’s your coin back. Looks exactly the way it did when you first gave it to me before you went on your journey. Here’s your coin back. I preserved it.”
That’s not the point of life.
When Jesus returns, our attitude to him is, “Here we are just what you gave to us when we were born.”
That’s not the right answer.
The right answer is that you get out there.
You change your venture for more, which also applies to spirituality.
Because a lot of people are born into their faith.
If your grandparents were Catholic, chances are you’re Catholic.
Now, when somebody asks you, “What do you believe in? Who is Jesus Christ” the best you probably think of is, “I know of him. Because this is our family culture.”
And I can use the same analysis for all other faiths.
Muslim, Baptists, you name it.
But that’s not real faith.
Faith is personal.
When you venture out there and experience heartbreak, you experience the ups and downs, twists and turns, and harsh realities of life; then and only then do we experience faith.
That’s when we learn to trust in God, even though so many people don’t believe us, despite the fact that everything else is breaking down and that there are so many things to fear.
Trust, because that’s all we could do.
And if we trust, as Jesus said, “If you only have the faith of the size of a mustard seed, you can move this mountain.”
The point is made.
There are only two things you can choose from: faith or no faith.
And the funny thing is that when we look at faith as identity, tradition, custom, and faith in the form of churches, that is no faith.
Because faith is based on trust, and trust is manifested in your personal, trusting relationship with Him.
Because that relationship changes how you treat people, it changes how you see the world.
It changes the way you think the world expects from you.
It changes everything.
As the Apostle Paul points out in his letter to the Romans, “Real faith transforms the mind”.
In fact, in one section of Romans, didn’t he say, “You were prostitutes before, and now here you are, followers of Christ.”
He brings up the painful past to highlight how much we can change.
Just like that caterpillar that blossomed into a butterfly.
What makes you a caterpillar?
Is it your addiction?
Is it your self-image?
What transforms you into a butterfly?
We will only know how far we can soar when we trust in the whole process of metamorphosis.
As Jesus has said in the Scripture, “He who has started that good work in you will continue to work on you until he comes again.” Do we trust that? And how does God work for us?
Not in our comfort zone.
Not when we have time to read the Bible.
Not when we have time and are comfortable enough to watch inspirational spiritual videos on YouTube.
And not when we feel comfortable enough to go to church.
A lot of the time, he’s communicating with us through challenges.
Where we are given a choice, do we rely on our strength?
Or do we take all that off the table, break it down, and trust in Him?
That’s when we move forward.
That’s when the talents start to grow in size and value.
Not when we decide to, “Okay, Jesus, I compartmentalize you. You’re the guy we talk about on Sundays between 10 to 12.”
Here you go in a hole in the ground like the third servant did in the parable of the talents.
Your butterfly dreams are trying to communicate very important truths not just about how you make your living, how you get along with others, but ultimate infinite truths, where you will be after you have ceased living.
And since that lasted forever, I think it’s one reading we need to pay more attention to.
Dream interpretation and symbology have fascinated me ever since I read Freud’s classic, “The Interpretation of Dreams.” Ever since, I have explored Christian, Jewish, Hindu, and Buddhist as well as Jungian psychological ideas about the meaning of dreams. Thanks for joining me in my exploration of the amazing intersection between our conscious waking world and the rich expanse of our subconscious-the home of our intuition, instincts, and hidden potential.