Lotus Blooming…

I left a party early today. I’d done enough socializing, enough extraverting. I was tired. But not just physically. I’m constantly, actively at war with depression and I refuse to let it win. I’m stronger than it; I’m better than it. I’d wanted to save this post until I’d actually gotten my tat, but this weekend’s interactions have brought all these feelings to the surface. I don’t know when I first read about the lotus but the symbolism of it stuck with me. A beautiful flower that blooms in the ugliest conditions, that thrives in the worst environments. So few people know me, know my origins, know my struggles, understand my pain. Those people alone know my depth. Those who see only what is on the surface will constantly misconstrue and misinterpret my intentions.

I identify with the lotus plant because from my experiences, experiences that I know for a fact have broken many, I have thrived. It took me three (3) decades, thirty (30) years and a shocking loss to finally bloom, to finally emerge from the muck, to finally manifest the beauty that is me. I’ve been hurt, lied to, disappointed, cheated on, used, abused and mistreated. I’ve lost and been broken down to the very foundation of my being. None of that has destroyed me. Instead, those are my roots, and from them I bloom, like the lotus. From all of that, a life I can be proud of has been manifested. That I am too much or not enough for some will not change who I have become.

I care. I care about my family and my friends and people who I don’t know and will never meet. I care about the state of the world with the same intensity that I care about the well-being of those I love. I extend myself to contribute to the benefit of those I hold dear. I check in, I check up, I worry, I fix, I make my self available. A listening ear, a shoulder to cry on, an outraged spirit that is offended by that which offends you. I care about your family members and your friends, though they are not my own. I cry and pray freely and openly for their safety.

I trust. I’ve been lied to and about. I’ve been taken for granted. I’ve been cheated and cheated on. And still, I refuse to let my experiences with others taint my new connections. I take everyone at face value, I approach everyone with trust and an open heart. I believe every word you say even after I’ve been given reason to doubt. I approach everyone with the belief that they are a good, decent, honest person and that their words are true and their intentions are pure.

I respect. I respect privacy and intentions and obligations and expectations. I try my best to meet everyone where they are. To leave my comfort zone, when necessary, to facilitate the needs of others. I have my own expectations and intentions and there are times when they will clash with those of my loved ones. But I’m always willing to adjust, to compromise and to apologize when I believe I’m wrong.

I love. Deeply and intensely and completely. I have a desire to know and understand and connect with those who I let close. I’m desperately in love with my friends. I would take up arms for them and theirs, I would sacrifice my comfort for theirs. I hurt when they hurt, I’m angry when they’re angry. I celebrate with them, rejoice with them, wait with them, worry with them. I can’t do anything less. I can’t be anything less.

I’m intense. I think deeply. I feel deeply. I care deeply. I love deeply. I want to know and understand and be involved. I want to help and contribute and add value to the lives of those I care about. I can’t exist on  the periphery of anything. I cannot feel anything or do anything by half.

I’m flawed. I’m so far from perfect. I have insecurities and idiosyncrasies that I’m sure have been and will be a point of frustration for friends and potential life partners. I have issues and fears that sometimes come close to the surface. I try to battle them back. I’m aware and self-conscious of them and actively try to overcome them, to bury them with finality.

I need. I need to be loved and understood and nurtured. I need to be appreciated. I need patience and acceptance. Because I cannot be anything other than my complete, imperfect self.

And so, I continue to bloom for those who understand me. Beautifully and imperfectly me.

One thought on “Lotus Blooming…

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