I’ve had a fascination with the lotus flower for quite some time.

I feel like we’ve been buddies for some time.

Once, from a distance, where I watched in amazement at its capabilities…

And then, as kindred spirits who shared in one’s mutual growth from the “below”.

You see, the lotus flower starts in the nastiest, murkiest, grossest part of the pond…the bottom (sound familiar?).

Slowly, bit by bit, sun will seap though the dark waters, showing the flower a glimpse of its light.

It takes just that tiny bit to provoke the lotus to slowly (marathon not sprint) rise and rise…

The smallest beam to entice its curiosity to see what’s beyond its comfort zone of sludge.

Somedays, just like the skies, are gloomier than others, and there may be a halt altogether in this lone trek to something brighter…something better than the place the lotus has lay dormant in for however long.

But that does not kill the lotus, but allows it to strengthen its roots, to rest for the journey ahead, and to have that moment to look down and see how far it’s come (maybe not the flower itself…but you catch my drift).

And as the light continues to creep in, amongst all odds and obstacles, it grows and grows, closer and closer to the surface.

Until the day comes, that it breaks through…blooms open…and unveils itself as one of the most beautiful flowers the pond (and the world that surrounds it) has ever seen.

It’s a story some of you may have heard. But one part they leave out, time and time again, is the fact that the mud was necessary for its journey…its blooming.

And even more than that, once it’s reached the brighter place, the surface where it can breathe, there isn’t one bit of evidence that the sludge, that at one point was all consuming, was even there.

You see, just like the mud, the grief, pain and angst are necessary.

The pauses (that sometimes feel like failure) are the moments we can use to reflect on just all we have pushed ourselves to do. And even more, the time needed to refuel as we continue to push even farther.

And once we’ve let the sun play its part and we reach a place of air, light, and beauty…the painful parts will not have seemed as if they were even there the whole time…because they weren’t and they aren’t.

They play their part and will always be there with our roots, but the bloom will not be tainted or tarnished…just more strong, more resilient, and more thankful for all its come from.