I was swimming in the wild and scenic Chattooga River, which runs along the border of Georgia and South Carolina, and I saw something beautiful. It was a woman, wearing a Confederate flag bathing suit. She was swimming in the rapids with her pit bull, and her movement radiated with a remarkable strength and poise.
The Confederate flag has been an issue of controversy, and it got me thinking about the role of symbols in our lives.
It has been said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and we can definitely apply that logic to how we perceive symbols. For some, the Confederate flag evokes a sense of pride and admiration towards the heritage of the American South. For others, the same emblem conjures up negative images of slavery and racism. It is a matter of perspective.
For me, the Confederate flag has been pretty neutral, not stirring up much of a reaction either way. But this past week, when I saw the flag adorned on that Southern woman's stunning body as she glided across the roaring current of the river—now that created a neural pathway of association which will not be easily erased. Beauty has now become intertwined with the flag in my subjective mind.
Can I still discern between the symbol and the beauty underneath it? Of course. But experiences and events leave lasting impressions.
When I look upon the AYP logo, with its golden Om shining like a brilliant sun, it is rich with meaning and emotional content. Yogani's insignia is tied to memories of early sobriety, going through a divorce, and getting serious about the pursuit of pure bliss consciousness.
Now I have created a symbol for AYP for Recovery, which is flower-like and representative of a person sitting in a meditative posture. With the help of a skilled designer who embodies the divine feminine with her artwork, I have brought it to life on the web. For me, the logo already carries the weight of many hours spent in AA—trying to unravel the mystery of addiction and arrive at a tangible solution. My time invested in the fellowship has transmuted into writing about how AYP practices can be applied to the path of recovery and enlightenment.
Contemplate the power of symbols in your life, and if you are lacking some zest and vivacity in that realm, find an emblem which represents the essences you hold dear. Or better yet, create a symbol of your own. You are worth it.