International Journal of Existential Positive Psychology

Positive Transformation and the Laws of Nature: From Caterpillar to Butterfly

Lia Naor, Ph.D.

The Center for the Study of Human Spirit, University of Haifa, Israel


The current pandemic has instigated a considerable amount of adversity and vulnerability in an era that values comfort, ease and equilibrium. When hardships and adversity are perceived as undesirable they tend to be denied and avoided, increasing the challenge to deal with them in a constructive manner. Without proper guidance in how to navigate hard times, and a better understanding of the meaning and significance embedded in adversity, the potential for development may be overlooked. Based on second wave positive psychology’s (SWPP 2.0) holistic approach to health, this paper provides an additional perspective on destabilization and adversity- discussed as a basic law of nature in the cycle of full development shared by all life. Empirical evidence and models focusing on positive change and transformation are reviewed and discussed. Through integrating models of human development, with the basic structures of development and growth in the natural world, an integrative and encompassing perspective of adversity and vulnerability is suggested. From this perspective, full human development involves acknowledging our interconnectedness with the natural world as a source of knowledge informing us of the structures by which life thrives. The contribution and practical implications of these underpinnings are discussed.

PDF article download available to INPM Regular Members only. Login or Join now or purchase this article here