The lotus flower is a symbol of detachment, of loving and letting go, of saying goodbye to the old and hello to who knows what.
I recently got this painting from a client – I’ll call her Rene – who is moving out of state with her partner. She attached a beautiful note to it, thanking me for helping her “flower to bloom”.
When she gave it to me, I began to tear up, and so did she.
By no coincidence, I also recently started re-reading The Writer’s Journey by Christopher Vogler. In discussing the role of Mentor, the author reminds us all that, “Anyone who has ever taught knows that you learn as much from your students as they do from you.” (40). Although I would not go so far as to consider myself Rene’s mentor, I do recognize the impact that each and every client has on my life. Some days I am better at remembering this than others. Rene has had a way of making this pretty easy for me.
She is an artist – by trade and also by heart – and she has taught me to remember that part of me, that once wrote hundreds of pages of a book I never finished, and to not be afraid to pick up the pen or the keyboard again. She showed this to me countless times, in returning to her painting or sculpture, and then returning to my office to share her enthusiasm.
Rene and I worked together and utilized EMDR in order to fully process some previous memories that seemed to be holding her back from making decisions she wanted to make, like moving out of state and returning to a facet of her work that she had not had time for.
What has impacted me the most about my time working with Rene has been her courage to be honest with herself and what she needs in her life. Twenty years ago, I do not think I could have done the work she has done. She has been gutsy in facing some challenging and also important decisions about what is important in her own life. Finally, she has reminded me (and will continue to, as her painting is now hanging in my daughter’s bedroom above her crib) that the only way to be open to new experiences is to make room for them, and let go of what no longer works.
Her heart is open to what is next, and I wish her strength in what is to come. I know she will continue to create lotus flowers wherever she goes. Goodbye for now, Rene. And hello to all that comes next.