Suicide and Butterflies

According to Mental Health America, over 30,000 suicides take place annually in the U.S. and over 500,000 attempts are made. These are grim statistics that do not tell the individual stories of people’s circumstances¬† and challenges. Certainly there are some common factors, such as depression, substance abuse, or mental disorders.

However, could the metamorphosis of the butterfly provide a clue as to what else may be happening on a deeper level?

When a caterpillar undergoes its transformation into a butterfly it goes through several stages of growth. At one point in its metamorphosis, suicide cells (most cells are encoded with suicide potential – click here for more info) are activated, which aid in the destruction of the caterpillar’s form in order to pave the way for its completion as a butterfly.

Interestingly, this process of metamorphosis also involves the production of imaginal disks – sets of embryonic cells that form the various parts of the butterfly. One imaginal disk will form a wing, another imaginal disk will form the antennae, and so on.

So then, could the urge to commit suicide in a person be more than the result of a mental or emotional aberration? Could it be that at the heart of the suicidal impulse is the soul’s desire to be free? Could it be that the suicidal urge is the soul’s desire for things to be different and better?

I believe so. I believe that suicide is the misguided expression of what is the inherent potential and urge for more life. It is the soul’s whispering that old things must die in order for new things to be born….that there must be an end as a doorway to a new beginning.

What if the suicidal urge were understood in this way instead of being interpreted solely as the result of a mental or emotional disorder? What if the person who contemplates or attempts suicide is guided into an understanding that their soul is crying out not for help or attention or death but for a greater, truer, more liberated self-expression? What if the suicidal person were guided and inspired by their own vision of what they could be and what life would look like (much like the imaginal disks of a butterfly)?

Suicide is the soul’s way of saying “I want more life….I want more out of life” not “I want out of this life.” The soul is saying, “I want life to be better,” not, “I want life to be over.”


4 responses to “Suicide and Butterflies

  1. Pingback: An Alternate View of Suicide | Healing Voyage·

  2. Pingback: Expanding Light, Darkening Shadows « Healing Voyage·

  3. I don't think this could have been said better. There was a time in my life when I reached rock bottom and I discovered that I didn't want life to end.. I wanted more out of what I was doing. This column spoke to me… thank you.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s