The other morning when I was coming back from an early trip to the local bakery I noticed a very small but very stunning pansy growing in the tiniest crack in the pavement tiles on the steps leading to my front door. I pondered how such a beautiful specimen of nature managed to nurture itself, flourish and grow in what some might consider a difficult situation. I marveled at its tenacity, strength and courage. I admired its ability to keep going forward in the darkest of shadows when no light was visible. I loved the way it proudly popped its little head out to the sun and said “Look at me, I’m amazing”.
Is life not the same? The pansy, the embodiment of beauty, did not for a second doubt, did not for a moment have fear and did not even consider that perhaps despite the darkness of the concrete there was no hope. Instead this little flower only saw light, had faith and I guess loved itself enough to keep on going until there was the moment of unveiling. And in that moment the joy to others was immeasurable. The simple pleasure of seeing something beautiful blossom in virtually impossible conditions was enough for this small beauty to stand tall and for the giants around to tread carefully. Yes I am here. Yes I am beautiful and yes I count. I may be different tomorrow but today I give you faith.
The 3 lessons that I learnt from this gorgeous epitome of life are this:
I remembered la while ago listening to the words of the Dalai Lama when asked did he “hope” that Buddhism was the right journey or path in life. His discourse around hope examined expectations, chance and possibilities and he used many examples. Faith however entailed having trust, belief, conviction and devotion. So his reply was quite simple in the end. “I do not have hope that this is the right path, I have faith”. Life mirrors this perfectly. The pansy embodied faith not hope. Its belief in itself was unwavering. It’s a commitment to the journey of the soil to light, constant. So I know that when given the choice of hope or faith, I will choose faith. Faith that abundance, love, and joy are close to me. Faith that when I see darkness I know there will also be light. Faith that any expectations I have maybe a limitation in disguise. And, faith that my soul path is perfect.
I was asked the other day how did I speak to myself. Was it loving or critical? Was it respectful or hurtful? Hmmm, Interesting question I thought. I was pretty sure it was ok but I was not 100% sure it was loving, tender, caring, and warm all the time. I was hard-pressed to remember the last time I praised myself. I was very conscious and aware of how I spoke to my children, the language I used and the energy I expressed. However, as human beings we are naturally self-critical and judgmental towards ourselves. Our ego is hell-bent on ensuring we stay in separation. Any opportunity to ensure we don’t love ourselves is grabbed. So how does this relate to our tenacious pansy? To grow and thrive in the dark, to stay strong, resolute and firm, a huge amount of self-love and positive self-talk took place. So not only did our little pansy have faith in something magical and special, at the same time our little one encapsulated words and thoughts that encouraged and reassured more and more love. Not just any love. Not love of others, Love of self.
Sometimes I wonder whether you need to have courage to be joyful. When I was little I didn’t have to make a decision as to whether I would be happy, life was joyful. Everywhere I looked I saw beauty. Every moment was full of joy and laughter. I am told when I was three; I presented my mother with a beautiful spider that covered my hand exclaiming to her it was wonderful. She didn’t quite agree with my statement of fact. As time passed I began to lose a little of this courage. I was taught fear. I was shown comparisons and hence taught how to judge. I was taught the spider was not beautiful and wonderful. I forgot how to fill my heart with joy and love. And yet I also know our tenacious pansy remembered joy. You see I figure that our tenacious pansy loved the dark and found joy in every moment of growth. I figure that every day, despite the darkness, was a day full of wonder and awe. I figure that all the elements this amazing flower needed to grow became a source of inspiration. The tenacious pansy had the courage to feel and express joy in every filament of its being. And so on the days when I don’t have the courage to be joyful because life is in the way, I will simply remember its tenacity.
Faith, love and joy are the legacy of this small but wondrous flower. When my way seems a little dark I will remember faith. When my thoughts are not as nurturing as they could be I will remember love. And when I forget joy, I will remember the courage and tenacity of the pansy. The song of the pansy will ring resolute: Yes I am here. Yes I am beautiful and yes I count. I may be different tomorrow but today I give you faith.