I was listening to U2’s, “Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” today. It got me thinking, and I realized that much of the time we don’t have an exact idea of what it is we’re looking for. Though we may often feel we haven’t found “IT” yet, putting our finger on exactly what “IT” is, can be a challenge. We recognize our soul is calling out for more, and we feel in our core that something is still missing. Yet, what exactly are we pursuing and how do we go about finding it?
Maybe it’s not about what we think we’re looking for, but rather what we run into along the way, and then take the time to nurture and develop. We’ve all heard the saying, “Life is what happens to us when we are busy making other plans.” How much of that life do we miss, being so focused on future plans, outcomes, and what we think it is we should be searching for?
We are so often oblivious to the amazing miracles and gifts of this very moment. They could bring us such delight, if we were fully present and aware, rather than distracted by our ongoing quests and disappointments with our current state of affairs. The unexpected journeys and treasures we stumble upon, when we think we’re searching for something else, may well be the most incredible valuables we encounter. They go unrecognized far too often. We miss them because we’re too busy contemplating and seeking a fictitious representation of what we think “IT” is, and we want “IT” in already perfect form. In actuality, it’s more often the process of development that creates such endearing value.
Last year, I went digging for crystals in a mine in Arkansas. My daughter and I dug from morning until sunset. I can remember feeling frustrated at times, as we worked for hours, yet the rewards seemed to be on the slim side. We were finding some pieces, but most of what we found wasn’t very impressive, or so we thought. My daughter collected about 3/4 of a bucket of crystals, while I amassed many times that. She was only keeping what looked really good straight out of the mud. I was keeping anything that looked like it had potential! In hindsight, I now recognize the importance of that distinction in perspective. I realized much later that week, after many days of acid washing and scrubbing to remove the clay and iron deposits from my crystals, that I had some absolutely beautiful pieces. They looked nothing like what I had dug out of the ground! Had I not spent the time and effort necessary to nurture and evolve these incredible specimens, they would have likely been tossed aside as undesirable.
I guess my point is this… whether we are talking about digging crystals out of the dirt, relationships with others, or even the growth and evolution of our own soul, quite often there are some magnificent gems we bypass because we didn’t perceive them as beautiful or worthy “right out of the ground,” if you will. The funny thing is, I could have saved a tremendous amount of time and effort and just bought some crystals in the store at the mine, but it would not have been the same.
There is something about actually doing the hard work ourselves, that gives us a greater sense of not only pride and ownership in the work we have done, but also value in the item we now hold. It meant more to me knowing the efforts I had put into bringing my crystals to this new and beautiful state. Had I just found a lovely crystal on the ground, or simply just purchased one already in its finished form, it would not have held the same value in my eyes. Those I worked on for a week, scrubbing and acid etching every crack and crevice until they were pristine, had value and meaning that could not have been bought. There is no price tag I can put on that experience, both in terms of time spent with my daughter and the resulting beautiful crystals.
I wonder, as I watch myself often still seeking things that measure up to a preconceived and very flawed checklist, how many diamonds in the rough I have bypassed and continue to leave untouched? How many treasures and opportunities to find zest in life might I still be missing, because “IT” doesn’t look like what I think I should be seeking?
My journey digging in the mine should have taught me that lesson, as some of the most beautiful pieces I ended up with, didn’t look like anything special when they were pulled from the earth. I can’t help but wonder how much we have cast aside, in search of something we deem better or more fitting, that with time and effort could indeed have become stunning treasures, that bring us immeasurable wonder and joy.
My prayer is that we become more attuned to the opportunities right in front of us every day, that might otherwise be missed. If we’re not actively and consciously aware of the present moment, we may very well miss the most incredible potential gems, disguised as common rocks, that simply need our time and efforts to brilliantly shine!
Love & Light,
Laura Lum Corby