"Sacred lotus Nelumbo nucifera" by T.Voekler

“Sacred lotus Nelumbo nucifera” by T.Voekler

For something as beautiful as the lotus flower, it’s surprising to discover the blossom’s modest beginnings in ponds and lakes around the world. The roots of a lotus flower extend deep below the still surface of the water, grounding it in soft, sticky mud. Surrounded by sludge, fish, and other wildlife, the pod frees itself, and the stem grows upward through the harsh conditions to clearer waters. The strong stem of the lotus flower allows for the flower to surface—for the delicate petals and leaves to touch the light of the sun and feel the fresh, clean air.

The symbol of lotus flower is found in many religions including Buddhism, and in full bloom, it represents perseverance, love, and compassion. The mud nourishing the roots represents adversity. Like the flower, we seek to break through our dark and murky experiences and suffering. Our roots and stem remain grounded in our lives, but with a strong will, we can rise above the mud to the surface where we can bloom.

As women living with HIV, we often find ourselves living like the lotus flower. The role models of the Women Rising Project have been through a lot— stigma, shame, pain, suffering, and rejection. These women strengthen, support, and encourage one another to rise above this and to blossom, just like the lotus flower. Programs, support groups, education, and leadership opportunities from The Women Rising Project are only made possible by the generous support of the community. If we stand together, we can be the strength—the stem of the lotus flower—that is needed to empower women affected with HIV and help them blossom.

Join us on Wednesday, May 6, to support women affected by HIV and AIDS. Learn more and RSVP.

 

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