“If you feel lost, disappointed, hesitant, or weak, return to yourself, to who you are, here and now and when you get there, you will discover yourself, like a lotus flower in full bloom, even in a muddy pond, beautiful and strong.”
― Masaru Emoto

I love this. The reason I love this quote – this idea – is that it speaks to me in a way I’ve just recently discovered for myself. It’s been hard these last two years to feel “strong”. I feel more like a tightrope walker trying to balance myself so as to not fall. It’s not just the deaths, but I think – no… I know…that after Mom and Maddie died I had an awakening of sorts.
I don’t know how many of you have been with someone at the moment they died.  I’m sure many of you have.  I was with both of my parents and with little Maddie when they died. Each death was so different. Dad had a peaceful death. He was asleep and we just listened to his breaths getting further and further apart until they quit coming completely. Mom…she struggled her final moments. We had to assure her it was ok to go. It was ok to not stay and be “mom” any longer.  She always told us she was going to live to be 100 years old and truthfully…we never once doubted her. She was so youthful.  I think she was putting up a good fight!
Maddie…she left like a silent breeze. The kind that summertime brings…where you stand outside and feel it…but you hear nothing. The kind that fills you with a great sad emptiness.  But the beauty with Maddie is that if you close your eyes and breathe deeply for a moment, you feel the warmth rushing into your lungs and you feel peaceful again. That’s Maddie. She’s always here and you can’t help but smile when you think of her.
I know I’ve talked about it before but, I realized after they died that some of the depression I felt for years was because I wasn’t fully me. There’s something about being with someone when they die that makes you truly realize how short life is and how precious it is, and I realized I didn’t want to waste any more time just existing.  I’m trying now to learn to be more of me… not so much what I always thought I needed to be. In that process my family and friends have had to be very patient and I’m grateful to them.  
I’ve found that my solace comes from the piano. It always has. I just neglected that part of myself for many years. I’ve found it again and it’s an amazing blessing. People have different ways of expressing themselves and in music I’m able to find a refuge and a safe harbor.
Emoto’s quote says to “return to yourself” and you will find that you are enough. Enough to handle whatever you are going through. I’m finally learning that within my own self is the strength I need even if I don’t always know yet how to draw on it. But there’s more inner churning going on and I feel like another major shift is happening in my “muddy pond”.  I feel like God’s starting to show me how to find my inner strength in a new way and that means more changes still and maybe more time on that tightrope.  But it’s ok because I know it’s all part of healing and growth.
The lotus flower in Buddhism is associated with purity and spiritual awakening so, although I’m not Buddhist, this quote speaks entirely to me. What is more pure than to learn to grow into the person God created you to be? So my “awakening” feels validated. There will always be challenges. Always. But we navigate through. And if we’re lucky enough, we just might be able to be a beautiful, strong lotus flower in the murky waters of life.

Ciao Amici ❤️