The Lessons of the Lotus

Lotus Flower - Nurturing a Healthy Mind | Happiness 2.0

The universe has given us so many astonishing gifts. If we look closely with not only our eyes but with our understanding, we can come to know the lessons that are wrapped up in those gifts.

Take for example the Lotus flower. She is splendid indeed and a feast for the senses. But she also carries with her a valuable lesson – one of the unconditional. One of the most difficult lessons for we humans to learn and practice is the lesson of unconditional love. Why? Because it is ad odds with most of what we have been unwittingly taught.

Our humanity is mired in fear and insecurities – lessons that we have learned from parent, school, church and government.

We fear the unknown, loss, rejection, judgement, abandonment and ultimately, dying or annihilation. Although we espouse the virtues of unconditional love, we don’t really believe it at our core. Our fear is in the way. Our actions prove the point. We come to distrust nations who operate under a different system of government than our own. We harbor negativity toward persons who believe differently than we do, practice a different religion that we do, have a different skin color than we do. We live our lives laboring under the persistent illusion of separateness when the truth is we are all one, all connected at the most elemental level.

Similarly, our fear and insecurity demands reciprocity in order for us to extend love. How do we feel and react if a close friend forgets our birthday? A boss doesn’t recognize an accomplishment? A mate doesn’t verbally echo an “I love you”? A stranger doesn’t smile back at us?

We withdraw and begin securing our perimeter. We withhold love and in so doing we systematically reduce the amount of love in the world. We become part of the global consciousness that contributes to conflict among both individuals and nations. We become personally part of the problem.

There is a better way and we need only look at our Lotus flower to grasp it.

She bestows her beauty and fragrance upon all those who stop to appreciate her as equally as those who do not. She never closes her petals in grievance for not being noticed. She simply radiates without ceasing. Her essence is her natural beauty and she can be no other way. She is at one with her purpose.

So it can be with each of us if we can learn and practice being one with our true essence – love. If we can learn to shine no matter the circumstance, to accept and respect the path of others regardless of how different it may be from our own, to not require anything in return for that which we give, then we can become as the Lotus – dazzling and without a single trace of fear or condition.

~Edward G. Dunn

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