‘You Can be a Water Lily’ By Gertrude Nyatichi

“I want to be a stiletto, mummy,” the girl responded. “Why do you want to be a stiletto baby?” she asked. The girl...


Photo credit: http://media.kids-myshot.nationalgeographic.com/2011/04/4db042ada3071water_lily_large_medium.jpg
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“I want to be a stiletto, mummy,” the girl responded. “Why do you want to be a stiletto baby?” she asked. The girl seemed to be in  deep thought and then as she jumped up and down, she replied, “Stilettos are very pretty on women’s feet. I want to be something that looks very pretty.”She went on; “when people are sad they are told to wear their pain like women wear stilettos.”

The mother seemed pretty impressed with her little girl’s thoughts. She went on with her cleaning but then suddenly turned to the girl who was now playing on the couch. “Baby, it should never be about what people say.” What do you mean mummy? She asked as she settled on the couch. The mother sat down and continued teaching her young girl.

Well, they will tell you, “Be strong”, “Man up bro or Woman up sis!” Wear your pain like a stiletto. You will feel you have a duty to stay put however much it takes. You don’t want to look weak so you decide to let it kill you from the inside as you shine on the outside. What they don’t tell you though is this about life: Stilettos can cause permanent injuries, Your heart can get dark, or that you can be filled with hatred and trust no one. Not even yourself.”

Every time I walk pass a water body and see water lilies, I remember the girl’s mother. During heavy rains and floods, lilies seem to lie still as they the water pass. Then they rise again and continue shining when it has passed. This is because the waves could break their stems and render them lifeless. They know what they can & cannot withstand and thus opt to let what they cannot, pass and continue with their life.

We should realize that our strength is never measured by how hard we fight. Sometimes it is measured by how easily we let go and move on. Pain is prone to be there every now and then. How well we handle it will be the determinant. It is unfortunate that most of us choose to live in denial .We kill ourselves from the inside while pretending that we don’t care or that it doesn’t matter. We shine from the outside while deep inside, we are being torn to pieces. We bleed, we are darkened and there is little hope for repair.

Nobody should dictate or approve our strength. We owe it to ourselves thus we are in the best position of knowing when we can handle being firm and when it is time to let go – cry maybe or perhaps speak to someone. Remember a problem shared is a problem halved. Face it and solve it. Every pain we go through is not new. Somebody somewhere faced it and got through it as well. This is a confirmation that we can do too.

Don’t be told forgiving is a weakness. Learning to let go is for us to heal and move on with life. Holding grudges and hating those that subject us to pain is giving them our power. We should take our power back, own it and shine.

Just like a water lily we should know when to stand firm and when to be wise up and lie let the floods pass then regroup, come back strong and continue shining. After all, one should believe in oneself, one does not have to try to convince others to do so. One should be content within oneself, one doesn’t need the approval of others. Because if one accepts oneself, the whole world accepts him.” Lao Tzu.

Photo CreditNationalgeographic.com

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  1. Geoffrey Nelson       Reply

    Nice piece. I’m honestly in love with this line…. ” our strength isn’t measured by how strong we fight… Sometimes, ( and I believe more often) it is measured by how easily we let go”..
    Granted..So awesome!