This word has been floating around in my mind and soul for a long time now.
Always seeming to dance and hover right in front of me, occasionally resting on my shoulder, like a butterfly,…
And then moving just out of my reach, with a slight flit of it’s wings.
This elusive, abstract, esoteric concept draws me –
and with longing, I pursue.
As I define it (and I realize, that’s not necessarily saying much) transcendence is the ability to experience peace, calm, joy, centeredness, love and focus regardless of the circumstances in which you find yourself…
in which I find myself rather more frequently than I would like.
Recently, I happened upon a reading that described the Lotus Flower. As I read, I could feel myself …
inching forward in my chair.
The lotus roots itself in the soil at the bottom of ponds or streams. It has a rather long stem and the elegant flower and leaves rest steadily on top of the water. The movement of the water can move the flower, but it is not uprooted because it’s depth is established regardless of the flow.
Then I read the next piece. Gasp!
Many Lotus Flowers actually have the singular ability to regulate their own internal temperature…
In case your mind isn’t blown – plants just can’t do this. And very few varieties of the lotus flower can. In fact, very few varieties of people can.
Now, I’m not going to make assumptions about you, but I’ll confess that I am guilty.
Guilty of not being rooted.
Of being swept being swept out to sea by the movement of the water, which happens to be my reacting emotions at any given time. Floating unsteadily on the two planks I’ve tied together with my shoelaces.
In a storm. Cursing the wind. Cursing the circumstances and humans involved.
Reacting with violence in my heart
to my perception of what is going on externally.
Unable to remember that I actually have choices
Regarding what I feel.
Regarding my perceptions.
Being Orthodox, my eyes often turn to the East. Even facing the direction of East is thick with symbolism for the Orthodox Christian.
Facing the Far East is not exactly the same thing – however, the wisdom contained in the lotus flower is one analogy I’m happy to borrow.
Because I have been that person.
I have watched it play out in others.
And I have been honored to work with still more…
We all profess our great faith and yet we have lived on
two planks and shoelaces…
We even add huge sails
So we can really get some distance on those stormy waters – so we can really feel the pain.
And call down guilt upon those who caused it.
We curse the winds of our own circumstances
With no awareness of the ability to regulate
The internal emotional and spiritual temperature
Of the human soul.
Withering in the desert
I make my way to this body of water
Though He tells me to walk to Him
I do not trust
But I breathe and step out
Dying roots make their way to moist, nourishing soil
Vine, stem, spine grows thicker.
And I don’t merely walk.
I dance on the water.
Beauty of soul, unseen until now.
Blossoming joy, always looking to the heavens…
Always filled with heaven.
Yes, the wind will blow and I will be moved.
The cold winds will blow and I will be tempted to give up.
But then I will remember myself.
Him to Whom I devote all – every breath.
And remember that I am rooted.
And my peaceful reply to my circumstances shall be…
“Look. The wind is blowing.”
So. In your life. Lotus? Or two planks?
*From a professional point of view, I must emphasize that my words here do not advocate a smile through any kind of abusive circumstances. Part of my view of transcendence is (1) knowing when you need help (2) seeking help and health (3) and accepting that major life changes, some not so easy, will likely result from your courage. Transcendence is never to be confused with avoidance or denial. The ability to stand boldly, bravely, and peacefully against abuse of all kinds, while avoiding the pitfall of passive aggressive hostilities, is likely a necessary inclusion to my prior definition of transcendence.