Buggy wisdom

105+ Inspiring Quotes About Butterflies That'll Make Your Spirits Soar

Butterflies truly are the best bugs.

Originally Published: 
Woman with butterfly on finger — butterfly quotes
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There’s something so beautiful and magical about butterflies. Not only are they so gorgeous to gaze upon, but it’s also the journey of the butterfly’s transformation that is so inspiring. To become a butterfly, a caterpillar must undergo a metamorphosis — a tremendous change — that can sometimes last for up to 30 days. The caterpillar remains in a cocoon during this entire process until they finally emerge as a stunning butterfly. This magical process is chock-full of wisdom. For example, good things take time. Or, nothing in life stays permanent. And, like the caterpillar, we might realize that while change can feel scary and uncomfortable in the beginning, ultimately, with a bit of patience, trust, and some confidence, we, too, can come out better on the other side of it and embrace our new life. No wonder we find butterfly quotes so inspiring (well, maybe with the exception of Crazy Town’s 2000 hit “Butterfly”).

Maybe you’re seeking some inspiration from butterfly quotes about love or change. Or perhaps you have a child who’s obsessed with butterflies, and you want to share a few of these winged words with them (or keep them handy for that butterfly-themed birthday party you know you’ll be throwing soon). Either way, we’ve got you covered.

Inspirational Butterfly Quotes

  1. “You do not just wake up and become the butterfly. Growth is a process.” — Rupi Kaur
  2. “We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.” — Maya Angelou
  3. “Everyone is like a butterfly: They start out ugly and awkward and then morph into beautiful, graceful butterflies that everyone loves.” — Drew Barrymore
  4. “A season of loneliness and isolation is when the caterpillar gets its wings. Remember that next time you feel alone.” — Mandy Hale
  5. “You’ve gotta be a caterpillar before you are a butterfly. Problem is, most people aren’t willing to be a caterpillar.” — Unknown
  6. “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
  7. “His talent was as natural as the pattern that was made by the dust on a butterfly’s wings. At one time, he understood it no more than the butterfly did, and he did not know when it was brushed or marred.” — Ernest Hemingway
  8. “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.” — Trina Paulus
  9. “When the spirit of nature touches us, our hearts turn into a butterfly!” — Mehmet Murat Ildan
  10. ” 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
  11. ” And when I was angry, when I was younger, I was in a cocoon. Now I’m a beautiful, black butterfly.” — Tracy Morgan
  12. “They seemed to suddenly come upon happiness as if they had surprised a butterfly in a winter wood.” — Edith Wharton
  13. “Don’t waste your time chasing butterflies. Mend your garden, and the butterflies will come.” — Mario Quintana
  14. “A caterpillar who seeks to know himself would never become a butterfly.” — André Gide
  15. “A butterfly is like the soul of a person; it dries out in captivity.” — Marlene Van Niekerk
  16. “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.” — Muhammad Ali
  17. “As with the butterfly, adversity is necessary to build character in people.” — Joseph B. Wirthlin
  18. “Forgetting… is a beautiful thing. When you forget, you remake yourself. For a caterpillar to become a butterfly, it must forget it was a caterpillar at all. Then it will be as if the caterpillar never was & there was only ever a butterfly.” — Robert Jackson Bennett
  19. “A butterfly symbolized acceptance of each new phase in life. To keep faith as everything around you changed.” — Lisa Kleypas
  20. “We are but small butterflies in the garden of life.” — Carston D. Roach
  21. “She is like a butterfly: beautiful to look at but hard to catch.” — Nikki Rowe
  22. “Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, she became a butterfly.” — Barbara Haines Howett
  23. “The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough.” — Rabindranath Tagore
  24. “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
  25. “Be like a butterfly and a flower — beautiful and sought after, yet unassuming and gentle.” — Jarod Kintz
  26. “Well, I must endure the presence of a few caterpillars if I wish to become acquainted with the butterflies.” — Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince
  27. “‘Just living isn’t enough,’ said the butterfly. ‘One must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.'” — Hans Christian Anderson
  28. “If nothing ever changed, there would be no such things as butterflies.” — Wendy Mass
  29. “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
  30. “Happiness is like a butterfly: The more you chase it, the more it will evade you, but if you notice the other things around you, it will gently come and sit on your shoulder.” — Henry David Thoreau
  31. “A butterfly always reminds that there is always beauty at the end of all the pain.” — Unknown
  32. “Take time to be a butterfly.” — Gillian Duce
  33. “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, Practical Magic
  34. “Soar up high with the beauty and grace of a butterfly.” — Unknown
  35. “Life without pain is a life spent in a cocoon. You gotta break the cocoon to experience your beauty.” — Shubhi
  36. “We are all butterflies. Earth is our chrysalis.” — LeeAnn Taylor
  37. “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
  38. “Don’t be afraid. Change is such a beautiful thing”, said the Butterfly.” — Sabrina Newby
  39. “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
  40. “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
  41. “We are like butterflies who flutter for a day and think it is forever.” — Carl Sagan
  42. “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.” — Sharifah Norhamidah
  43. “Fighting has taught me that the caterpillar takes a while to turn into a majestic butterfly.” — Jesse Taylor
  44. “Don’t wait for your wings, fight for them.” — Gayatri Pardeshi
  45. “We can learn a lesson from the butterfly beginning its life crawling along the ground, then spinning a cocoon, patiently waiting until the day it will fly.” — Heather Wolf
  46. “Representation is vital; otherwise, the butterfly, surrounded by a group of moths, unable to see itself, will keep trying to become the moth — representation.” — Rupi Kaur
  47. “I’ve always loved butterflies because they remind us that it’s never too late to transform ourselves.” — Drew Barrymore
  48. “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
  49. “To catch the butterflies and the rainbows of your dream, walk alone, keep faith in yourself, focus your energy and start your adventure.” — Amit Ray
  50. “Go on, hitch a ride on the back of a butterfly. There’s no better way to fly.” — Train, “Get to Me”
  51. “Butterflies are nature’s angels. They remind us what a gift it is to be alive.” — Robyn Nola
  52. “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
  53. “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
  54. “Butterflies are self-propelled flowers.” — Robert A. Heinlein
  55. “The butterfly is a flying flower. The flower is a tethered butterfly.” — Ponce Denis
  56. “There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it’s going to be a butterfly.” — R. Buckminster Fuller
  57. “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?” — Zhuangzi
  58. “Just like the butterfly, I too will awaken in my own time.” — Deborah Chaskin
  59. “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
  60. “Open your heart and mind like the wings of a butterfly. See then how high you can fly.” — Zeenat Aman
  61. “Like a butterfly, her wings unfolded.” — ButterfliesRising.com
  62. “Failure is like a caterpillar before it becomes a butterfly.” — Peta Kelly
  63. “The butterfly does not look back upon its caterpillar self, either fondly or wistfully; it simply flies on.” — Guillermo del Toro
  64. “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
  65. “Adding wings to caterpillars does not create butterflies; it creates awkward and dysfunctional caterpillars. Butterflies are created through transformation.” — Stephanie Marshall
  66. “Love is like a butterfly, a rare and gentle thing.” — Dolly Parton, “Love Is Like a Butterfly”
  67. “I embrace emerging experience. I participate in discovery. I am a butterfly. I am not a butterfly collector. I want the experience of a butterfly.” — William Stafford
  68. “Teaching a child not to step on a caterpillar is as valuable to the child as it is to the caterpillar.” — Bradley Miller
  69. “Someday, I will be a beautiful butterfly, and then everything will be better.” — Heimlich, A Bug’s Life
  70. “Although the butterfly and the caterpillar are completely different, they are one and the same.” — Kendrick Lamar
  71. “And when all the wars are over, a butterfly will still be beautiful.” — Ruskin Bond, Scenes From a Writer’s Life
  72. “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, Retribution
  73. “Love is like a butterfly, beautiful and delicate. If you truly care for it, you’ll do whatever you can to make it happy, even if that means letting it go.” — Scott Pemberton
  74. “Children are caterpillars and adults are butterflies. No butterfly ever remembers what it felt like being a caterpillar.” — Cornelia Funke, The Thief Lord
  75. “I only ask to be free. The butterflies are free.” — Charles Dickens
  76. “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
  77. “Just when the caterpillar thought, ‘I am incapable of moving,’ it became a butterfly.” — Annette Thomas
  78. “When I was a girl, I would look out my bedroom window at the caterpillars; I envied them so much. No matter what they were before, no matter what happened to them, they could just hide away and turn into these beautiful creatures that could fly away completely untouched.” — Carin, Patch Adams
  79. “Everyone knows what a caterpillar is, and it doesn’t look anything like a butterfly.” — Lynn Margulis
  80. “A fallen blossom, returning to the bough, I thought — but no, a butterfly.” — Arakida Moritake
  81. “When she transformed into a butterfly, the caterpillars spoke not of her beauty, but of her weirdness. They wanted her to change back into what she always had been. But she had wings.” — Dean Jackson
  82. “The wings of transformation are born of patience and struggle.” — Janet Dickens
  83. “A butterfly is a miracle, a divine creation that fleets, propelling the caterpillar within, an array of predators it cheats.” — Unknown
  84. “Nature’s message was always there and for us to see. It was written on the wings of butterflies.” — Kjell B. Sandved
  85. “A caterpillar, after its deep slumber, ‘wakes up to reality’ to realize that truth is not always bitter after all!” — Manali Oak
  86. “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.” — Unknown
  87. “When a small child, I thought that success spelled happiness. I was wrong, happiness is like a butterfly which appears and delights us for one brief moment, but soon flits away.” — Anna Pavlova
  88. “If you smile when you see a butterfly, you have happiness in your soul.” — Diana Cooper
  89. “Beauty is where the beheld butterfly disappears from sight.” — R.H. Peat
  90. “Proverbs are like butterflies; some are caught and some fly away.” — German proverb
  91. “Perhaps the butterfly is proof that you can go through a great deal of darkness and still become something beautiful.” — Unknown
  92. “In mythology throughout the world, the butterfly represents the soul and its journey in this life and the next.” — Tom Frost
  93. “Butterflies are not called butterflies overnight. They have to undergo tons of changes in order to acquire that name.” — Michael Bassey Johnson, Song of a Nature Lover
  94. “When I was a cute little caterpillar, you loved me. So I became a butterfly so you would never leave.” — Crystal Woods
  95. “Butterflies are beautiful, but the process of emerging from the chrysalis and spreading your wings can hurt. But still, you will survive the transformation (over and over again) and you will fly. Remember this when it hurts the most.” — Jeanette LeBlanc
  96. “Nine butterflies appear within an hour, not on the wing but in the word, bringing a message of transformation and hope.” — Carol Lynn Pearson
  97. “Beautiful and graceful, butterflies lift our spirits with their loveliness and lyric flight.” — Gloria B. Schlaepfer
  98. “Literature and butterflies are the two sweetest passions known to man.” — Vladimir Nabokov
  99. “Butterflies are God’s confetti, thrown upon the Earth in celebration of His love.” — K. D’Angelo
  100. “Story is a butterfly whose wings transport us to another world where we receive gifts that change who we are and who we want to be.” — Harley King
  101. “Self-realization is a strange term. You don’t actually realize yourself. If anything, you go away. The caterpillar enters the cocoon of meditation: A butterfly emerges, metamorphosis.” — Frederick Lindemann
  102. “The winter solstice has always been special to me as a barren darkness that gives birth to a verdant future beyond imagination, a time of pain and withdrawal that produces something joyfully inconceivable, like a monarch butterfly masterfully extracting itself from the confines of its cocoon, bursting forth into unexpected glory.” — Gary Zukav
  103. “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 know they can do it at any time and in countless ways.'” — Dodinsky
  104. “Butterflies, they are like dream flowers, childhood dreams, which have broken loose from their stalks and escaped into the sunshine.” — Unknown
  105. “There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it’s going to be a butterfly.” — Buckminster R. Fuller
  106. “He said that we belonged together because he was born with a flower and I was born with a butterfly and that flowers and butterflies need each other for survival.” ― Gemma Malley, The Declaration
  107. “Hundreds of butterflies flitted in and out of sight like short-lived punctuation marks in a stream of consciousness without beginning or end.” ― Haruki Murakami
  108. "Keep up your faith to go high and fly, even after so many pains and sorrow. You can turn from a caterpillar to a butterfly. Life gives you a second chance: a call to grow." — Ana Claudia Antunes
  109. "A power of Butterfly must be, the Aptitude to fly, meadows of majesty concedes, and easy sweeps of sky." — Emily Dickinson
  110. "With the rose, the butterfly's deep in love, A thousand times hovering round; But round himself, all tender like gold, The sun's sweet ray is hovering found." — Heinrich Heine

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