The nature is so exciting that gives us the answers more unexpected when not even thought they could exist beyond our mind, our hope and our desire to move forward. Far from showing a monotonous and predictable reality, each corner in which nature sprouts freely leaves us with a new teaching on what it means to inhabit this world. So it is with the lotus flower.
Nature is not only generous to science, but to our senses and our spirituality. So much so that, in the great variety of manifestations, species and phenomena that it produces, we find authentic lessons on how to face life. Authentic psychological theories without control of variables or analysis of reliability or validity, but that contain a message whose beauty and meaning is indisputable.
Among all the infinite and curious phenomena of nature is the Lotus flower. A sui generis phenomenon that is an exciting metaphor about life and the adversities we face every day.
The lotus flower
The lotus flower is a type of water lily, whose roots are based in the mud and mud of ponds and lakes. The lotus flower possesses the seed with the greatest longevity and resistance: it can last up to 30 centuries before blooming without losing its fertility.
The lotus flower is a symbol of the purity and beauty that can arise from a swampy ground
This beautiful flower emerges and thrives on mud, in bogs or swampy places and when it blooms it rises above the mud. At night, the flower petals close and the flower plunges under the water. It closes to sink into the water but at dawn it rises again over the dirty water, intact and without traces of impurity due to the arrangement of its petals in a spiral.
The lotus flower has the peculiarity of being the only flower that is a fruit at the same time: the fruit is shaped like an inverted cone and is inside. When the flower is closed it does not smell, but when it opens its aroma is reminiscent of hyacinth. Many consider its aroma hypnotic, capable of altering states of consciousness.
The wonderful emotional brain of resilient people
Resilient people know that no one is immune from suffering. Because in moments of darkness we have two options: to be defeated or to overcome,
Mythologies about the Lotus Flower
The fascination for this flower has made it a fundamental symbol for many civilizations throughout history. The Lotus flower is considered sacred and one of the oldest symbols with multiple meanings for the countries of the East, although we also find multiple references to them in the Western world.
In Greek mythology, the lotus were a mythical people that the ancients identified with the inhabitants of a town in northeast Africa. Legend has it that a beautiful Goddess got lost in a forest until she reached a place where mud was abundant, called the lotus, where she sank.
This space had been created by the Gods for the beings whose destiny had been to fail in life. However, the young woman fought for thousands of years until she managed to get out of there turned into a beautiful lotus flower, symbolizing the triumph of perseverance in adverse situations.
In the Buddhist realm, the lotus serves as a seat or throne for Buddha or Buddhas and indicates a divine birth. In the Christian world, the lotus flower is the white lily which signifies both fertility and purity. Traditionally, the Archangel Gabriel carries the lily of the Annunciation to the Virgin Mary.
The lotus flower and its significance for psychology
The Lotus flower symbolizes the power of psychological resistance as the ability to transform adversity into potentiality. Suzanne C. Kobasa, a psychologist at the University of Chicago, conducted several investigations in which she found that individuals with resistant personalities have a number of characteristics in common. They are usually people of great commitment, control and challenge oriented.
“The most beautiful people I have met are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths”
– Elisabeth Kubler Ross-
Later this explanation was reconceptualized with the term resilience, the essence of the resistant personality. Resilience is often defined as the ability of individuals to overcome periods of emotional pain and great adversity.
The lotus flower is a magnificent metaphor for how there are people capable of folding pain and later unfolding it in the form of serenity, self-control and persistence
Learning that comes from suffering (resilience)
Because resilience is not the same as resistance, we now describe examples of people whose suffering is not a burden, but a learning.