CW: sexual assault; injustice
“THE LOTUS BLOOMS OUT OF THE MUD.”
It’s taken me some time to unpack this phrase in the context of my life. My “mud” is ever changing; but currently it’s my anger.
For a long time I believed that anger was an ‘unhealthy’ emotion, and I never gave myself much room to feel it or express it. In reality, the more I do express anger, the more I release the hurt and ache underneath it. The longer I sit with what actually is happening in me, rather than repressing my hurt and anger, the more clarity I gain & the more empowered I feel to act.
My emotions are like the mud at the bottom of a pond. When I experience something which upsets me it is as though someone has thrown a boulder into the pond and now the water has become very murky, as it gets mixed with the mud at the bottom.
Since May, I have been in the process of pressing criminal charges against a man for sexual assault. Yesterday I received the news that crown counsel would not pursue charges.
When the RCMP called, it was as though a very large boulder had been thrown into my pond.
I felt so angry and defeated. All of the anxiety inducing police interviews, the therapy, the trauma of it – all seemed for nothing. I was paralyzed by my rage. I felt I could have burnt down the whole courthouse. I wanted to scream like a madwoman “what about justice?!” But I couldn’t move my body.
So I sat with my anger, breathing and being with my pain until it released into grief-filled sobs. When I could cry no more, I got up. I ceremonially cleansed myself, and my space. I made nourishing food. I called a friend, who brought me a drum to help me move out some energy, and I cuddled my baby.
It seems like nothing perhaps, but just recognizing my anger, and giving it space to be what it needed to be in that moment I was able to move from paralysis into self compassion.
It is a reminder of my strength and resilience. I can make room for very big emotions to move through me.
I can take time and be with myself, even when my mud gets stirred up. I can sit in stillness letting it settle, knowing it is from this mud that my lotus blooms.
I don’t know what the lotus is yet. I suppose today it doesn’t matter. Seeds cannot take root in mud that is stirred up in the water. First I need to create the conditions that are favorable for a seed or there can be no lotus.
Today is an opportunity to return to my breath:
Breathing in, I am aware my mud has been stirred.
Breathing out, I watch the mud settle a little bit more, knowing this creates ideal conditions for a lotus to bloom.