Flowers grow in the mud ― 2 min read

A pink flower

Most people are afraid of suffering. But suffering is a kind of mud to help the lotus flower of happiness grow. There can be no lotus flower without the mud.

—Thich Nhat Hanh, No Mud, No Lotus: The Art of Transforming Suffering

Whenever I suffer I remind myself to be grateful because I understand I am going through a natural process and no matter how dismal it may seem and no matter how long it may last I will eventually grow from it.

Trying to escape and distance ourselves from our feelings is never as fruitful as welcoming and learning from them. No matter how painful or scary they are they are still just feelings. Things naturally shift and change and if we resist or reject these aspects of ourselves then the whole natural flow of things is interrupted and we can easily end up stuck.

This too shall pass

—Persian adage

Life is a process of birth and death, growth and decay. Things are born, come into existence, fade away and are lost. New things appear as if out of nowhere and can take us by surprise. Nothing is permanent. Even our selves, our memories, our characters, the atoms in our bodies - all of this is always changing. In each moment we both vanish and manifest. Everything does. This one moment is always beginning and ending.

I saw grief drinking a cup
of sorrow and called out,
It tastes sweet, does it not?

You have caught me, grief answered,
and you have ruined my business.

How can I sell sorrow,
when you know it's a blessing?


Every emotion in this world is married to its opposite inextricably. Sorrow begets joy which begets sorrow just as the soil becomes a flower and then soil again. In the soil is the flower and in the flower is the soil. There simply is no flower without the soil.

Be with your feelings, listen to yourself and follow your heart. The rest will take care of itself.

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