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When My Therapist Compared Me to a Lotus Flower

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During a particularly emotional therapy session, I found myself beginning to lose hope. My therapist picked up on this as well and started telling me about the lotus flower. When you’re fighting an uphill battle against mental illness, getting a symbolism lesson about a flower might not seem like the most important task in a therapy session. However, what my therapist told me about the lotus changed my perspective on struggling forever.

She explained how the lotus flower can only grow in muddy, murky water. When it blooms from these bleak and ugly conditions, it blossoms into one of the most beautiful flowers in the world. She told me how I will be like the lotus flower. Although what I am struggling with now is incredibly difficult, it will transform me into a stronger person. This metaphor really resonated with me, and it’s something I now use as daily motivation.

Sometimes battling mental illness may seem like running a race you can’t win. It’s as if you were put in a race where your friend runs on a track, and you are on a treadmill. You’re putting in the same amount of effort, except you aren’t going anywhere. You put so much time and effort into getting healthy, but sometimes, your condition stays stagnant anyway.

Trying different therapies, medications and alternative medicines can be exhausting and make you want to give up. However, giving up is the worst possible option because it doesn’t allow you to grow. Giving up only ensures that things won’t get better.

If mud didn’t exist, neither would the lotus. Likewise, if bad situations didn’t exist, strong people wouldn’t either. No mud, no lotus. Your struggles are enhancing your natural inner strength, and that is surely something to be proud of. Like the lotus, if you can try your hardest to see the faint light and beauty of day through murky waters, then you will soon rise above your circumstances and bask in the sun.

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Image via Thinkstock.

Originally published: October 26, 2016
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