Recently I have found myself drawn to the beautiful lotus flower and its symbolism.
According to Thich Nhat Hanh, the widely acclaimed Buddhist monk and peace activist, there would be no lotus without the mud.
I think I can apply this principle to my life at the moment. As I struggle through therapy and all the conflicting emotions and thoughts in my journey to wholeness, I see something beautiful slowly emerging. As I feel better about myself, and let go of all the shame and guilt of the past, I can see a glimpse of what healthy feels like. The Lotus flower fills me with a lot of hope and positivity for the future despite the suffering I have had to endure.
Childhood abuse affects the body, mind and soul of survivors in the deepest and most profound ways. The very life force that pushes all human beings to connect with others and look for light and joy is deeply distorted for survivors of childhood trauma. A plant will naturally grow towards the light, but children who have been abused at such an early age are pulled into darkness; losing a sense of self, being afraid of making connections and wanting to hide from the world.
For this reason, I find the analogy of the lotus so apt. From the murkiest mud arises a beautiful flower!
To all the survivors I have met, I pray that you emerge from your cocoons of darkness and reclaim your sense of belonging and beauty!