I‘ve had a lot of conversations with people who do not imagine that their goals and desires are attainable. People, who for lack of a better word, have given up, because they just don’t see hope or success for themselves anymore. After having these types of discussions over and over again, I noticed a commonality. Many of the people I spoke to were plagued by a deep-seated sense of unworthiness, which stemmed from shame and guilt. Their guilt and shame sometimes came from past life events, unexpected failures and turns they could have taken but didn’t, perhaps because they lacked guidance at the time, were inexperienced or found themselves in circumstances beyond their control. In other cases, the shame and guilt weren’t even for their own actions but stemmed from the state of their countries of origin, the inadequacies invoked in them by being called names and compared to others by their parents and even the color of their skin. If you are one of those people, held back by a feeling of guilt, shame, and a sense of unworthiness, I hope you take a moment to read the message below.

Have you seen the lotus flower? Its beauty makes the beholder gasp in admiration. Do you know what lies beneath the swamp in which the lotus grows, from where it springs forth clean and impeccable? Mud. Yet the lotus blossoms, beautiful and unstained. The lotus does not hide, neither does it cower. It does not apologize because the swamp chooses to be a swamp. The lotus continues to be a lotus. It spreads out its petals and smiles up to the sun. It says “look at me; I am beautiful, beloved and an honor to behold.”

Just like the lotus,
You are not the home from which you came.
You are not the wrong turns you took along the journey of life.
You are not the mistakes your parents made.
You are not their anger, their faults or their flaws.
You are not the words spoken to subdue your mind.
You are not the touch, intended to break your body.
You are not the doubts that were cast your way.
You are not the mistakes from your past.
You are not the color of your skin.

You are you, a sprawling lotus.

When the voices from the past, of the accuser or of your place of origin whisper, and tell you to stand down, and step away from your dreams, close your eyes and whisper louder than they do, just beneath your breath. “A lotus is a lotus, not the muddy swamp where it grows. I am Lotus, beautiful, beloved and a blessing to behold. I am Lotus.”


 Art by Seyi Fajimi

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