The lotus flower has held significant meaning for me ever since falling in love with the name Lilly 11 years ago. It’s an important symbol in several cultures, religions, motifs, and scripture, and can represent universal creation, the barer of life, female genitalia, the human heart, the feet of gods, etc. Renewal is the most important message for me, and like a lotus that grows out of the mud and blossoms above the murky water surface, we too can rise above our defilements and sufferings of life. It’s an inkling of goodness in an otherwise grim landscape. And, what is even more encouraging, it means we can bloom where we are planted, a notion I’ve recently began to believe in. Lots of good stuff.
I recently went on my first solo adventure to celebrate my would-have-been 6-year-anniversary and mourn its loss. This was necessary for a few reasons: the first being to prove fear can’t confine me to a sheltered life; the second being ready to say goodbye to one part of my life and begin a new phase of grief.
Along the way, I got three (almost four) lotus tattoos. There are plenty of powerful symbols I find meaningful (lotus, willow, cherry blossom, frog, sailboat, lighthouse, etc.), but nothing felt more right than imagining a lotus permanently marked on my body while revisiting the best day of my life. The more I solidified this choice, the more I realized I’ve lived four distinct periods of enlightenment by knowing and loving four people. Thereby, I decided on two more lotus tattoos for a total of three.
The first lotus, representing the person who served me the best possible friendship, isn’t one I’m ready to have. This person recently and unexpectedly passed away, and I’m still navigating denial. I’m also not convinced a lotus is the right symbol for us.
The lotus on the nape of my neck (nearest my brain) represents the person who served me intellectual and spiritual awakening. Before then, I didn’t actively engage in shaping my own life. It sparked conversations about my purpose, as an individual and as part of the universe and beyond.
The lotus on my ring-finger represents the person who served me good love. Before then, love equated to fixing someone broken in order to feel confident or special. It brought peace to my spiritual search and the real possibility of soulmates and kindred spirits. A lotus is also a kind of water-lily, commemorating the daughter we will never have together.
The lotus on my foot represents the person who served me sexual awakening and liberation. Before then, I was barred from being a lover. It allowed me to feel whole as a human being and dare to bear my real self.
So, here is my truth. My heart is in my mouth. Come what may in the direction of right.