Day 21 – Adversity

“The flower that blooms in adversity is the rarest and most beautiful of all.” – Mulan True or false? When do you bloom best?


When I read the quote in today’s prompt, I wanted to say, “Well it better be true. I’ll make it true for me!” Then I remembered that I’m learning to “allow” rather than “make”. I am allowing this quote to be true.

I get the whole thing about “making” life happen and it’s how I survived parents that I found to be scarily unreliable. But my body has now declared that this is not working. I didn’t know it but I was locked in a stressful approach to life at a fundamental level. 

The other day, I was telling Mark and Robert about simplicity this side of complexity, and simplicity on the other side of complexity. You just can’t get to the other side without walking through the fire. It’s been a long time since I first had that idea so I’m not feeling 100% sure that I didn’t read it somewhere. Still, after all this time of taking it for granted, I was surprised at their reactions. “That’s beautiful Bola”, Mark said, “You should write about it.” Oh…

I now think this idea is everywhere in many forms. Stephen Covey wrote about the evolution of a person from dependence to independence … and then, possibly, to what he called, “interdependence“.

There’s also the second law of thermodynamics which says, in my very own layman’s terms, that chaos (or entropy) always increases. That’s what we understood (ish) until Ilya Prigogine’s Nobel prize-winning work taught us that the second law really applies to closed systems. In open systems, where energy from outside is allowed to flow through continuously, chaos increases at first. Then the system can reorganize itself at a higher level of complexity. Isn’t that another way of saying “simplicity on the other side…”?

The process of human transformation has been well understood and documented since ancient times. Many people are familiar today with Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey, but you can find a similar four-step process in modern psychology, Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism, even indigenous cultures. I think that you can also look at that process as simplicity, then chaos initiated by a change, then reorganization. You’ve gotta keep breathing, keep moving through so you can get to the other side. Don’t get stuck in the chaos.

I’m convinced that the crazy chaos in my life right now is actually a precursor to a reorganized system, or interdependence, or the simplicity on the other side of complexity.

Or to the rarest, most beautiful flower, of being able to realize “all our childhood dreams – and our adult hopes and aspirations“.

And the best way to allow the bloom? Surely it comes down to being true to yourself…???



9 thoughts on “Adversity

  1. What a wonderful post….I too hope that I can allow that bud that is me to flower. Right now, due to symptoms and difficult circumstances, the bud feels a bit tight. But I trust with some light rain ( tears of release), and sunshine (self-compassion/love) and a bit of a breeze ( some fun and laughs!) it will open.

    Thanks for the references….

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