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The lotus flower is born at the muddy bottom of a pond. The plant pushes up through the mud and murky water to the surface where a beautiful flower blooms. In much the same way, Eastern religions suggest elevating one’s self above the muddy thoughts and actions of your daily life in order to become a better person. In Hindu religions, the lotus flower is a symbol of divine beauty and purity, while the unfolding of its leaves represents the expanding of the soul and spiritual awakening.
We all have that moment in life where we realize that we ARE the lotus, and we’ve finally reached above the mud and are blossoming in the light. From the age of 9, I was clinically diagnosed with depression.
My parents got a divorce when I was 9, and, like every child, I questioned if it was my fault. My stepfather was awarded custody of my 2 younger siblings and 1 older sibling. My family being torn apart started my long downward spiral in life.
By age 15 I met the most negative person in my life who has played the biggest part in my growth and change. My daughter’s father and I met in high school. I disregarded all the red flags of abusive behavior and ignored anyone who told me he was anything perfect. I stayed by his side through cheating, lying, numerous kinds of abuse, and manipulation. Between the ages of 19 and 20, I miscarried 2 pregnancies due to the unbearable amount of stress and emotional instability in my life.
I began to question how much longer I could put up with his toxic behavior before I just gave up. This was the moment in my life where I thought I was going to remain at the bottom of the muddy pond forever.
March 20, 2015, my family moved from Texas to Wisconsin after a close friend living with us lost her son to SIDS. That night shook our family to the core and we couldn’t live in that house anymore. They chose to move to Wisconsin where the rest of our family is for support, while I was forced to stay in Texas and live with my boyfriend. 1 week later on March 27, I found out I was pregnant for the third time. A mix of emotions flooded my mind. “Will I get to meet this baby?” “ Can my body carry this baby to term?” April 27 I heard the baby’s heartbeat for the very first time. That day was the turning point for me. Something woke up inside me and MADE me be strong. I no longer felt like giving up. I couldn’t imagine not being here for this little baby. Through 9 months of continuous abuse and more cheating, I still prevailed. Slowly, I was beginning to arise out of the darkness and mud and grow taller, almost reaching the surface of the water.
The morning of November 24, I arrived at the hospital at 7 am in active labor. By 2 pm I finally had my baby in my arms. After losing her siblings, I got a large lotus tattoo. This tattoo symbolized overcoming the losses of my babies and becoming stronger. And once giving birth and bringing my first child earthside, I gave her a name which represented that strength as well. Lillian in Chinese translates into “Beautiful Lotus”. She is my lotus and the physical representation of my lotus reaching the surface and blooming. Together, we’ve grown unbelievably strong. She gave me the strength and confidence to leave the abusive relationship with her father after 8.5 years. She’s shown me the true beauty inside me and given me the boost I needed to love myself. I am no longer chained to the bottom of the pond, alone and hidden, but now in full bloom atop the water, for everyone to see. A lotus in bloom is a symbol of challenges prevailed and patience in the journey of life.
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