No Mud… No Lotus – can’t have one without the other


I was thinking the other day as I heard some ladies talking about their experience growing up with their Mothers. They were talking about how much their Mom’s reminded them each day how precious and special they were; they were Superstars in their Mom’s eyes. They shared the attention and almost disbelief of what they were told but loved their Mom for caring so much.
Wow, I thought. I didn’t have that experience. I tried imagining that. Nope – I can’t. In fact I’m one of those that still on Mothers Day I can’t seem to find the right card to send to my Mom. I search for the one that says “Relax. You did the best you could. Thanks!”

I grew up instead being told very negative and hurtful things; not being pushed or inspired. My Mom was an alcoholic and even to this day I have to remind her of things she forgot back then. Like attending my High School Graduation; she was there but doesn’t remember it. Years of therapy and learning that her words weren’t really about me at all. Instead it was about her doubt, hate and fear. Hearing these ladies talk though I wondered is one way of being raised means a better outcome for the future. I’m not saying that living in a negative childhood is the way to go, but instead that neither method determines the success or happiness later in life. That our own choices and intensions can change and redirect our path in life. We can chose to hold onto bitter feelings or let them go.

Just a thought I wanted to share. We may never know the answer because it would mean knowing each others deep dark secrets. Often we are so guarded for fear of judgement, pain, or embarrassment. Yet it does make me think about my meditation and yoga practice; how to let go more because holding onto hate or bitter feelings is not healthy. Yet we often let our thoughts define who we think we are or who others are. For example we may have been conditioned to think we were or are special or stupid; but that doesn’t mean it is so. Actually each of us is more than what the eye can see, yet sometimes we hold on so hard to those beliefs and conditions. Which is why we shouldn’t let the external conditions or words define us. We have to start with paying attention from within. There is a point of listening to yourself; that you get to decide to either be a victim or a survivor.
Change is hard and it doesn’t have to simply be in the big events in our life. How often do you hear gossip and hold onto that bitter anger for so long. The mere mention of a name and the memory of that hate or anger comes up. If it was during a time of someone’s mistakes or hard times in their life, could you see past the event or experience and know that each person has many sides to them and maybe instead they may need your compassion, love and forgiveness?  Maybe without that event you wouldn’t be who you are today.

I learned to do this with my Mom for example. I may never have the “Brady Bunch Mom” but as I grew older, truth be told, I didn’t want one either. Wishing for that is just an extreme in the other direction. Fact is it would be a mistake to go around thinking ‘people are the sum total of what you see’ and we all have good and bad sides to us. Some are just more visible than others.  We have our good and bad days. Even teachers have their good and bad moments.  It doesn’t define who they are though as a person.

A great quote I love says “no mud, not lotus”.  From the ugly, dirty water comes this amazing flower.  We can’t have the one without the other.