Inspiration in a Lotus flower

Poets and artists have found inspiration in the beauty of nature for thousands of years. When I was a depressed sixteen years old, I found inspiration and strength in a lotus flower (not literally inside one, I wouldn’t have fit, even back then). You might think I am being a sentimental fantasist, but it’s true. Something about the lotus flower shook me to my core.

The Ancient Egyptians saw the lotus flower as a symbol of rebirth, they saw the lotus flower slip back into the water at night then reemerge with the sun the following morning, its petals unsoiled. Buddhists associate the lotus flower with faith and spiritual awakening. Meanwhile, in Hinduism, the lotus flower symbolises beauty, eternity, purity and spirituality. Many Hindu Gods and Goddesses, including Goddess Lakshmi, can be seen sitting within a lotus flower (she can fit inside) or holding one. 

During our Mahalakshmi celebration, our Goddesses held real lotus flowers

During our Mahalakshmi celebration, our Goddesses held real lotus flowers

Being a teenager is tough, becoming an adult is rarely an easy ride. In those days I felt disgusted in my own skin, a blanket of dark mist felt over my life. I was convinced that I would be this way forever. I thought that I was destined to be permanently stained by that dark time, I felt broken and lost, and I wouldn’t have been surprised if I bled black. I thought that those who had wronged me had forever tainted my soul and I would never be free of the darkness they had inflicted upon me.

Then I read something in a book about Eastern philosophy which sparked the light of hope, I read about lotus flowers.

“As a lotus flower is born in water, grows in water and rises out of water to stand above it unsoiled, so I, born in the world, raised in the world having overcome the world, live unsoiled by the world”

-The Buddha

The lotus flower grows in the mud, travels through murky depths but blooms above the water towards the infinite sky, it’s petals pristine and untouched. If you’ve had a muddy past, it doesn’t mean that you have to stay in the darkness, with love and compassion for yourself, you can blossom. Yes, sometimes the lotus flower may slip back into the water but you can rise again, re-emerging with a pure heart. The dark earthy water nourishes the lotus flower, just as our suffering make us stronger and wiser. 

Lotus flowers made me see myself in a different light. I knew one day I would be able to shed the pain and emerge from it like a butterfly from its chrysalis (or a lotus flower from dirty water). I haven’t forgotten what happened, I never will, but I feel free and clean. 

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48 thoughts on “Inspiration in a Lotus flower

  1. Our experiences mold us to make us who we are today. Without them we would have been hollow personalities…..all that pain is worth it if it makes a person who they are today.

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  2. Bonjour! 🙂

    Why you were sad? What happened in your life that you went into depression? You often mention that you were very sad and in depression in your life. I would like to know the reason for it.

    If you had the right to vote you would most probably vote for BJP since their symbol is also a Lotus!! 😀

    Cheers!
    RD

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    • Hello RD,

      Depression doesn’t always have a cause, I do speak about triggers often. I have been depressed on many occasions in my life, it’s obvious that this particular incident I don’t want to disclose, otherwise I would have written it in the post itself.

      I would never vote for a political party based on it’s symbol.

      Hope you are well,

      Lauren

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  3. I guess pretty everyone had to go through a tough time as a teenager.. Some haven’t had as many problems as others; still it was a lesson which we had to learn. Mistakes & hard times let us grow and realise what life is all about! I was a veeeery chubby girl, mobbing was a daily topic, I was insecure and felt lost. The worst is when you start to realise that there are so many ‘fake persons’, especially ‘fake friends’ on earth .. it really breaks your heart!
    Your lotus-story is heart touching and an awesome example how to win strengh and hope back! Stay strong girl, don’t care what others say and live your life! Love, Maike xxx ❤

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    • Hi Maike,

      Thank you for your lovely comment! Big hug to you!!
      Yes, teenage years often produce fake friends but I guess over time we learn to see who our true friends are!

      Lots of love and strength to you!!! xxx

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  4. lotus is a symbol of arising from difficulty and making ones own identity.in the Bhagwat Geeta it has clearly been said that only ones work defines ones identity .

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  5. Hi.Lauren, Hope you are fine.
    Ordeals make us stronger. So be happy.:)

    ” If you can always smile at life , life will always smile at you.’
    – The Mother

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  6. Thanks for a wonderful post, Lauren! I learned a lot about the lotus and what it represents-I had no idea. Take care of yourself. You’re a very special person and have so much to offer. Susan

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  7. Very well-written indeed. It reminded me of the book by Goldie Hawn (entitled “A Lotus Flower Grows In Mud”). Coincidentally Goldie Hawn also found the inspiration from Lotus Flower during the darkest moments of her life. I had posted an inspirational para from this book at my blog, little over a year ago. Pls feel free to see that inspirational quote, if you wish to at the link: http://deodatusblog.wordpress.com/2013/08/27/favorite-inspirational-quote-on-perseverance-by-goldie-hawn/

    It’s true that great minds do think alike. Cheers Lauren!

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  8. @Lauren

    Do you know that Lord Brahma, the creator of the universe, emerged out of a lotus which sprouted from the naval of Lord Vishnu. That is why Vishnu is also called Padmanabh ( the lord from whose naval sprouted the Lotus). Here is a video of that:

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  9. Omg we have so much in common. I used to paint lotuses all the time and I even thought of getting a lotus tattoo. I have a lotus devoted Pinterest board! Lol!!!
    I don’t know if you are into tattoos but I think if you ever do, a lotus one would look fabulous on you!

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  10. I know the mythological Lotus tree isn’t a Lotus flower, but I believe the Lotus tree is supposed to produce beautiful Lotus-like flowers. There is a myth told by the Roman poet Ovid. The nymph Lotis, was the beautiful daughter of the god, Neptune, god of sea. During a festival that Lotis attends, the god Priapus has lecherous intentions toward her. She invokes the gods to protect her and they answer her prayers by turning her into a Lotus tree.

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  11. Before the world was created, Brahma and Vishnu wandered over the formless ocean arguing about who was the god of all.

    “I am the god of all,” said Brahma to Vishnu, “for I created you.”

    “If you created me,” replied Vishnu, “then who created you?”

    Just then a pillar of light appeared, stretching up into the highest heavens and down into the lowest depths of the ocean.

    “If you created everything, ” Vishnu continued, “then who created this pillar of light?”

    Brahma was troubled.

    “Let us find out,” he said.

    The gods instantly changed into animals. Brahma became a giant swan and Vishnu became a giant turtle. They set off in opposite directions to find the source of the pillar of light. The two gods flew and swam for a thousand years but neither of them reached either the top or the bottom of the pillar of light.

    They returned to the surface of the formless ocean, agreeing finally that there existed a god who was greater than them both.

    Just then, Shiva stepped out of the pillar of light as the sound of OM assaulted the skies.

    Vishnu and Brahma fell on their knees in worship.

    “My brothers,” said Shiva, “stand up. We are now complete.”

    Then starting to dance and to bang upon on his drum, Shiva called,

    “Let creation begin.”

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  12. A lovely, well spoken post! I also didn’t know much about the lotus and related symbolism and inspiration, other than eating it in Japan! I like the shape of the root when sliced. I will be seeing lotus through fresh eyes now. Thank you!

    Like

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