Stay In The Mud, Or Find The Lotus

~An adaptation from a personal journal entry

Evolve, Or Go Extinct.

This is a part of a quote I saw written on one of my gym’s walls. It caught my attention enough that I paused my workout to take a picture of it to reflect on in my spare time.

There are times in our life when we are happy with the person that we are. We have been working diligently to do what we individually feel is necessary to be a good person. We are following our morals and steadfast in our belief systems.

However, no one is perfect. Sometimes we mess up, and sometimes we fall from our precariously constructed peaks of self righteousness.

When these events occur, we have a choice. Stay in the mud, or find the lotus.

I use this phrase because of a book I have been reading, “No Mud, No Lotus – The Art of Transforming Suffering” by Thich Nhat Hanh. The premise of the entire book (and honestly Buddhism in itself) is that happiness and suffering are two sides of the same coin. Without one you cannot have the other, and where there is one the other will always be present.

We could wallow in the mud of our own self pity, continuing to feel sorry for ourselves or punish ourselves for what we have done wrong.

Or we could show true penance by righting our wrongs and becoming a better person for the future.

One good deed a good person does not make. It takes a lifetime of love and goodness to be good. We must ask ourselves what we must do in order to one day be able to look in the mirror and think, “Wow, I really am amazing”, or “I did a really good thing today that touched someone’s life in a positive manner”.

This looks different for everyone. What are some things I plan on doing in order to evolve myself into something I personally respect in my path of finding the lotus? Here are a few:

  1. One of the first steps was in fact writing this blog post. I decided that I am going to start writing again regularly, even when it seems impossible. (If you didn’t know, writing can be very difficult especially when you feel zero motivation. I always feel inspired and I am always making little notes for when I do write again, the hard part is the action of focusing on writing them.)

2. I am going to start volunteering. I have been looking at some volunteer positions with the Red Cross, and I would also love to volunteer at a pet shelter. I think that giving of your time to the community is essential to the well being of the world.

3. I am going to start recycling and picking up trash. This has been something that has been on my mind recently a lot. Perhaps it comes with getting a little closer to 30 and thinking about the state of the world today and what kind of world I am personally going to leave for my children and my friend’s children. Every little bit helps, and if everyone would do just a little bit the world would be so much healthier.

Those are just a few of the items that have been on my mind lately. There are many more, but those are for later discussions.

I think more than ever, everyone is going through something. 2020 has and continues to kick everyone’s ass in one way or another (or multiple ways for the luckiest of us). It is a depressing era, and it is so difficult to get out of these ruts.

I promise you, somewhere in that rut that you are in, a lotus is blooming.

You just have to look for it.

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