Home » 101+ Inspiring Butterfly Quotes about Change and Transformation

101+ Inspiring Butterfly Quotes about Change and Transformation

Butterflies are synonyms of metamorphosis, change, transition, and spirituality. The natural process of a caterpillar implies a great transformation that can last an entire month! So many authors and artists have been inspired by the magic of this transformation that I could not resist writing about it! 

I’m a huge fan of traveling and discovering new places. The process of traveling also implies going through a great transformation. You need to leave your cocoon or consort zone and venture to unknown places. That’s why traveling is a great transformation process. 

Do you think caterpillars know they will be able to fly? Sometimes we are not aware of our own strengths and capabilities. Butterflies remind us that even if we are crawling on the floor, or having a bad time, we will always be able to grow wings and reach places we didn’t even imagine. 

This article is a compilation of over 100 of the most inspiring and transformational butterfly quotes I found and helped me when the change process felt like too much. You will also find short explanations of why many quotes are special to me.  You might find some of them especially useful if you are currently going through a transformation process. 

Short Butterfly Quotes

These next butterfly quotes are short and sweet. They are perfect if you want a meaningful quote with only a few words. Sometimes you don’t need to say a lot to say something meaningful and get a message across.

These butterfly quotes also make for great social media and Instagram captions. On social media, you often only get a few words that display with the photo, so you want these words to be great! Any of the next few quotes will caption any butterfly photo.

person holding a butterfly with the quote about when nature touches us, we turn into a butterfly
red butterfly spreading its wings with an inspiration butterfly quote about change bringing butterflies

“When the spirit of nature touches us, our hearts turn into a butterfly.” – Mehmet Murat Ildan

“If nothing ever modified, there could be no things like butterflies.” – Wendy Mass

“Butterflies are caterpillars that fight back and come off with ‘flying colors.” – Unknown

“I don’t really go out partying, but I’m definitely a social butterfly.” – Eliza Doolittle

“The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough.” – Rabindranath Tagore

“You can only fly once you are willing to give up the safety of your cocoon.” – Connie Lynne

Quote Interpretation: This butterfly quotes reminds us that we will only be able to fly and reach higher places once we leave our comfort zone, the place that brings us safety but stops us from growing and becoming more. Once you pass over that, the possibilities, as well as the destinations, are endless. 

“If there may be one creature that represents my essence, it’s butterflies.” – Patricia Velasquez

“We are like butterflies who flutter for a day and think it is forever.” – Carl Sagan

“Literature and butterflies are the two sweetest passions known to man.” – Vladimir Nabokov

The Funny Thing Is…“Butterflies… flowers that fly and all but sing.” – Robert Frost

“The butterfly is a flying flower. The flower a tethered butterfly.” – Ponce Denis

“The caterpillar does all the work, but the butterfly gets all the publicity.” – George Carlin

Why I love this quote: Caterpillars are heavily overlooked and sometimes mistreated as they’re not as beautiful as a butterfly. We all have our caterpillar moments. We all go through dark times, only those who stick to you in those moments deserve to see you becoming a butterfly. This is actually one my very favorite butterfly quotes.

“Never touch a butterfly’s wing with your finger.” – Sidonie Gabrielle Colette

“Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.” – Muhammad Ali

“We crush the caterpillars then complain there are no butterflies.” – Unknown

“If you want the butterfly to visit you, be a flower!” – Mehmet Murat ildan

“Butterflies are self-propelled flowers.” – H. Heinlein

Inspirational Butterfly Quotes

Let’s face it, butterflies are beautiful but they weren’t always. They went through a huge transformation process. This took time and energy. For this reason, many of the very best butterfly quotes are super inspirational. Like hiking quotes, many butterfly quotes remind us that the best things in life take effort and time. We must be patient and kind to ourselves in our own transformation process.

If you’re looking for a bit of inspiration, these next quotes about butterflies are exactly what you should be looking for!

butterfly landing on a purple flowe rwith a quote about making each moment count as butterflies do
orange butterfly on a flower with the quote "We delight in the beauty of a butterfly, but rarely admit to the changes it's gone through to get there"

”I’ve all the time liked butterflies, as a result of they remind us that it’s by no means too late to remodel ourselves.” – Drew Barrymore

“Let us learn from butterfly to count life in each and every moment and make the most of it.”

“I would like to think that the singer is the butterfly, and the drummer was just the little grub in the ground, working to become a caterpillar.” – Robert Wyatt

“Can you exchange one life for another? A caterpillar turns into a butterfly. If a mindless insect can do it, why couldn’t I?” Gloria Stuart, Old Rose

“Fly like a butterfly like there is no tomorrow…. Live like a butterfly like today is the only day you have to live!”

“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.” – Maya Angelou

Quote Interpretation: Changing is a difficult and painful process. That’s why so many people prefer to stay where they are. We’re always amazed by how people achieve great things but often ignore all the hard work, tears and suffering implied getting to where they are. Let’s embrace the transformation process for what it is. A painful yet rewarding process. 

“Well, I must endure the presence of a few caterpillars if I wish to become acquainted with the butterflies.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery, The Little Prince

“A caterpillar, after its deep slumber, ‘wakes up to reality’ to realize, that truth is not always bitter after all!” – Manali Oak

“Butterflies are more like flowers; there only advantage is that they can touch the sky.”

“Butterflies are nature’s angels. They remind us what a gift it is to be alive.” – Robyn Nola

Why I love this quote: Watching butterflies flying is a magical thing. It’s hypnotizing and beautiful at the same time. They remind us that the world is full of wonders and charms and sometimes the solution is just stopping to appreciate them. For more magical quotes, check out my blog about mermaid quotes!

“Perhaps the butterfly is proof that you can go through a great deal of darkness and still become something beautiful.”

“When I was a little girl, my teacher told me butterflies don’t live a long time. They live, like, a month. And I was so upset, and I went home, and I told my mother, and she said: “Yeah, but, you know, they have a nice life. They have a really beautiful life”.”

“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

“Teaching a child not to step on a caterpillar is as valuable to the child as it is to the caterpillar.” – Bradley Millar

“Know thyself! A maxim as pernicious as it is ugly. Whoever observes himself arrests his own development. A caterpillar who wanted to know itself well would never become a butterfly.” – Andre Gide

Butterfly Quotes About Change

I love quotes and love the magical and metaphorical expressions that butterflies bring to our world.  This blog post is not only about butterfly quotes but rather about transformation, even though it takes time and effort, it can take us to beautiful places. It shows us the value of being patient and consistent but rewards us with the discovery of the new. 

Some of them are meant to make you think about your own transformation process, or maybe inspire you to start it. You could also use them as motivation or in your social media posts.

cocoon changing into a butterfly with the quote "you've gotta be a caterpillar before you are a butterfly"
a butterfly ahning from a stick with a butterfly quote about being amazed with butterfly transofrmations

“A butterfly symbolized acceptance of every new part in life. To maintain religion as every thing round you modified.” – Lisa Kleypas

“Is it sin, which makes the worm a chrysalis, and the chrysalis a butterfly, and the butterfly dust?” – Max Muller

“You’ve gotta be a caterpillar before you are a butterfly. Problem is, most people aren’t willing to be a caterpillar.”

“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

Quote Interpretation: This butterfly quote tells us that it’s never too late to remodel yourself. To change who you used to be and live a happier life. Even though change is scary and difficult, it’s worth it.

“I’d be a butterfly; living a rover, dying when fair things are fading away.” – Thomas Haynes Bayly

“Life is short. If you doubt me, ask a butterfly. Their average life span is a mere five to fourteen days.” ― Ellen DeGeneres

“A butterfly says, “The caterpillar-me is history, my metamorphosis, a mystery, and today… today is a present, my struggle gifted me.” – Manali Oak

Why I love this quote: The present is our gift. Those who learn to live in the present are the one who find happiness in small details. They know difficult times are only temporary and don’t worry about the future and regret the past. I’d say that the mystery is also how to live in it. 

“I’d be a butterfly, born in a bower, where roses and lilies and violets meet.” – Thomas Haynes Bayly

“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

“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.” – Maya Angelou

“I wish I could see butterflies burst from cocoons without tempering my amazement. Knowing all beauty eventually dies.” – Justin Wetch

Cute Butterfly Quotes

Not all quotes about butterflies are deep and meaningful. Some are simply cure and cheerful. Butterflies are stunning, and something about them is whimsical. These next butterfly quotes will bring you a smile, and are a little bit lighter in tone.

a red butterfly flying near a tree with a quote about coming to happiness
butterfly sits on a flower with a quote "I only ask to be free. The butterflies are free."

“You can chase a butterfly all over the field and never catch it. But if you sit quietly in the grass it will come and sit on your shoulder.”

“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

“They seemed to come suddenly upon happiness as if they had surprised a butterfly in the winter woods.” – Edith Wharton

“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

“One can by no means consent to creep when one feels an impulse to soar.” – Helen Keller

“Let us learn from butterflies to count life in each and every moment and make the most of it.”

Quote interpretation: Butterflies travel flower by flower, like moment by moment. They don’t spend the day planning exactly which flower they will visit but just do it. Give yourself some freedom to explore out of your thigh schedule and you will taste a bit of what it feels like to live in the present. Being at the beach makes me feel the same thing. Many beach quotes are also about living in the moment.

“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.” – Chuang Tzu

“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

“I only ask to be free. The butterflies are free.” – Charles Dickens

“It’s okay to be a caterpillar. Caterpillars have a specific purpose, but the destiny of a caterpillar is always to become a butterfly.” – Charlene Dior

Why I love this quote: It’s okay to sometimes feel like we’re not ready, like we need to change and evolve. To move from our comfort zone but we have a brighter destiny waiting for us. We just need to be brave enough to go after it. 

A butterfly is a miracle, a divine creation that fleets, propelling the caterpillar within, an array of predators it cheats!”

“A butterfly symbolized acceptance of each new phase in life. To keep faith as everything around you changed” – Lisa Kleypas

“If you smile when you see a butterfly, you have happiness in your soul.” – Diana Cooper

“What would a butterfly quote, on looking in the mirror? It would say, ‘the adventure was worth it!'” – Manali Oak

Unique Butterfly Quotes

Something the best quotes a little less popular. The next few butterfly quotes are less common than some of the others in this blog. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

butterfly on a roack with the butterfly quote "Love is like a butterfly"
butterfly lands on leaves with the quote "when all of the wars are over, a butterfly will nonetheless be stunning"

“Love is like a butterfly, it goes where it pleases and it pleases wherever it goes. Love is like a butterfly, hold it too tight, it’ll crush. Hold it too loose, it’ll fly.”

“Not quite birds, as they were not quite flowers, mysterious and fascinating as are all indeterminate creatures.” – Elizabeth Goudge

“God bestowed upon nature a beautiful bounty of butterflies only to complete his picture-perfect scape.”

“And when all of the wars are over, a butterfly will nonetheless be stunning.” – Ruskin Bond

​”Butterflies are a breath of beauty fluttering by, they are mystery chronicled upon wing, they bring forth the grace and wonder of this world to our eyes everyday.” – ​K. D’Angelo

“‘How does one become a butterfly?’ she asked pensively. ‘You must want to fly so much that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar.’” – Trina Paulus

Quote Interpretation: We are all born with the potential to become a butterfly, but not all are willing to put in the effort and overcome their own barriers. Willingness is the secret behind great progress. 

“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

“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

“For a new year to bring you something new, make a move, like a butterfly tearing its cocoon! Make a move!” – Mehmet Murat Ildan

“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

“Love is like 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

Why I love this quote: Love is very much like a butterfly. If you hold it too tight, it might break, but hold it too loose and it will fly away. When love is flying around it brings joy and it’s hard to see it leave. Yet it’s one of the bravest forms of love. 

“Well, I must endure the presence of a few caterpillars if I wish to become acquainted with the butterflies.” – ​Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

“Everyone is like a butterfly, they start out ugly and awkward and then morph into beautiful graceful butterflies that everyone loves.” – Drew Barrymore

“I embrace rising expertise. I take part in discovery. I’m a butterfly. I’m not a butterfly collector. I need the expertise of the butterfly.” – William Stafford

“Do you know God paints every color on a butterfly with his fingers?”

“Adding wings to caterpillars does not create butterflies, it creates awkward and dysfunctional caterpillars. Butterflies are created through transformation” – Stephanie Marshal

Find more quotes…

Did you like any of the quotes above? I hope so! My intention with this butterfly quotes post is to bring you some light if you are facing a transformation process. We all know it can be challenging and overwhelming, but you’re not alone! 


If you are looking for more inspirational quotes, you can visit the rest of my blog about inspiring hiking quotes for Instagram. Are you looking for quotes about inspirational places? Check out our quotes about spending time on the beach. I’ve also written a few articles about beach captions that you can check out here!  

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