A lotus is a symbol of purity, self-regeneration or rebirth, which is why it can symbolize the human life. No matter how low in morals, self love, hate, racism or anything negative, we can grow out of it to a higher, purer, more loving nature; just as the lotus starts from muddy water and grows to the surface of the water, where it opens into an exquisite white, yellow, red, pink, or pastel orange flower.
I have a life with much less guilt now. Let me explain. From early childhood through a large part of my adult life guilt has haunted me every day. No, I was never evil or did anything terrible to be ashamed of.
Often I guilted myself for some transgression or thought or feeling I had; thinking that through punishing myself by “mentally spanking” myself, I would learn not to commit the same mistake again. (I think this was a carry over from when I was a child: you do something wrong, you get punished to make you learn not to do it again.) I would worry that something I said might have been taken the wrong way and caused emotional pain to someone else.
The guilt and self recriminations continued after my husband became sick from progressive diabetes and mini strokes. He was always a bit OCD and later became emotionally abusive at times. I felt like I deserved to be punished for my mistakes because I had “screwed up royally!” I had disappointed him, or let him down.
The drive to be “good” became an all consuming passion when I was twelve snd found out there was a Bible verse that said, “Be ye perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” WOW! How could I ever do that?
Later I realized this was an impossible feat! Then as an adult I found out the word “perfect” according to some translations means “complete.” We are to grow spiritually to become complete with God. Finally it made sense.
Given the new understanding of this charge “to be complete” I relaxed and continued my quest to be a good, kind person growing spiritually but with less guilt. I still thought, said and did things I shouldn’t have; I still felt guilty for my failings for days after, depending on the severity of the faux pas I had committed.
As an adult I became wiser and less hard on my self after the first forty years of my life. I started learning to love myself. After all if you are a Christian, there is a verse where Jesus said, “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.” Hmm. That means we are important and should be kinder to ourselves. We should also be kinder to others too.
I finally healed from my self inflicted purgatory. I had finally realized that we all made mistakes, misjudgments, spontaneous boo-boos, even unintentionally said things that may hurt someone else’s feelings.
I still am that conscientious person I was as a child. I love people and would never knowingly hurt anyone’s feelings. I try to do what is right because I want to be a loving person and that love helps keep me behaving in a way that is loving.
I also came to the realization that if God can forgive me, shouldn’t I forgive myself? So let’s stop carrying guilt, feelings of unworthiness, or shame around to punish ourselves. There are better ways and healthier ways of learning from our mistakes. Besides we are all capable of so much and gifted with so many talents. It is healthier to search these parts of ourselves than to be overburdened with unnecessary guilt. Grow and fly!