I have always loved being in nature. In fact, when I reminisce my childhood most of my memories take place outside. My grandparents house was just down the road from me and I spent most of my free time there. My Granddaddy hung a wooden swing from the cedar tree in the front yard and I spent hours of my life in that swing trying to touch the branches with the tips of my toes. I played in the dirt and clovers. I wandered through the woods and caught tadpoles in the ditch bank. We were so far in the country that nature was everywhere I looked, everywhere I was, so much so that I didn't think about it. It just was.
There's a saying I heard recently, No Mud, No Lotus. Without mud the lotus wouldn't grow. This beautiful flower starts off in the mucky, brown mud and has to push its way through to the top of the water. This is true for most, if not all of nature. The process is messy but the end result is beauty. We are the same.
As a child, I took for granted the beauty around me without thinking of the struggle. Sometimes as an adult I seem to think of the struggle more than the beauty around me. But what happens when I connect them? What happens in my mind when I no longer think of one without the other but when one leads to the other? It makes life and the challenges we face not all bad. Stop holding your breath through the difficulties and learn to breath through them knowing that something beautiful if happening, even if we can't see it because it's still in the mud.
What I don't want to imply here is that the mud isn't messy. Of course it is. And, you don't have to like it or dress it up. It is what it is. Life is messy. We have challenges, hurt, disappointment, betrayals, and unmet expectations. And you are entitled to feel about them anyway you feel about them! What I don't want to encourage is that you stay there, in that messy place and forsake the beauty. The beauty that comes in a relationship with healthy boundaries and resolution from a conflict. The beauty of an apology. The beauty of growth and resilience that comes as we mature. The beauty that also comes when we put things in perspective. I also want tell you that everything will be okay if you just believe it, or have enough faith, or even say the correct prayer...that toxic type of positivity only leads to more pain. No, I want to share that messy is inevitable but so is the beauty.
Today, this week, be intentional to look for the lotus...even if it means digging through a little mud.
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