you can either
keep yourself up at night
you can hide under your covers
and tell everyone
you’re wrong and you’ll
never be right
or you can see all this
as an opportunity
to emerge from the concealed depths
to the gleaming luminescence
and become stronger
it is your choice to decide
whether to drown in your troubles
or to courageously survive
because the harder the struggle
the more spirited you become in the end
“the deeper the mud
the more beautiful the lotus blooms”
“The flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and beautiful of them all.” –Mulan
The lotus flower in the murkiest, darkest of waters, appearing elegantly with a beauty that cannot be denied. These flowers are considered to be sacred in the Buddhist religion; associated with creation, enlightenment, and purity.
A lotus emerges out of muddy, dirty water found in ponds, in a slow manner, over a few days. Once it appears above water, it will only open its petals in the morning and then later closing them in the late afternoon. Regardless of the fact that this flower surfaces out of such dark and muddy water, it is clean and devoid of dirt when it presents itself to the world.
The mud a lotus grows out of can be considered a symbol of the dark, painful suffering that this world inflicts upon the people who inhabit it. We are all born into a world filled with this mud, mud that we must overcome because it is meant to test us. We, as humans, go through many of the same trials and tribulations in life (i.e., illness, death of a loved one, sadness and depression, etc.) But, it is upon us to rise above these hardships and grow from them rather than let them destroy us. By developing compassion, empathy, wisdom, kindness, and resilience, we have the ability to grow just as the lotus does, taking it one step at a time (i.e., opening one petal at a time).
When you are going through a hard time, it may seem easier to just stay within that bud, the cocoon, of the lotus flower, safe from all the suffering. But, in reality, you aren’t really safe from it, you are ignoring it and will never reach the point in which you can truly “bloom.” It’s risky and scary to face life’s toughest obstacles, but we must do so. you may have heard the quote: “A certain darkness is needed to see the stars,” (Osho- The Book of Secrets). The same idea applies in this context–without the mud, there is no lotus. Without suffering and dark times, there would be no chance for us as human beings to rise above hardship; to learn from it, change from it, and grow from it.
The mud will always be there, but we do have the ability to not let the mud ruin us. Rather, we have the ability to flourish and blossom. And, in this, we can find peace, find ourselves, find contentment, and find ways to continuously re-bloom when life throws another obstacle at us. The most beautiful, elegant, and radiantly positive people are those that have learned to live their lives by going through a similar cycle of that of the lotus. These individuals reach new beginnings, reach enlightenment, and have the ability to change and diminish the negativity within themselves.
I took this photo several years ago. Perhaps I need to print a copy to remind me that I am like the lotus flower, too.