We are a little bit obsessed in our culture around ideas of worth and value. We spend so much of our time running after something, what we might call the “gems,” or running away from other things, the “pebbles,” in the hopes of having a sense of belonging, feeling worthy and valuable. In our yearning for success, we might let others know the gems we seek, yet we are more likely to hide what we consider the pebbles, the wounded places, or what we label as failures.

For instance, if we want for love – for not being alone – we may settle for being treated with less kindness or compassion. Many of us hide the hurt, so as not to “burden” another. In hiding the hurt, we put up a wall believing this will prevent being hurt – again. We can become “anti-pebble” not realizing the pebbles are the pathway.

None of this is a criticism, it’s the human experience. We are all a little bit wounded, and in our wanting to feel safe, honored, loved and whole, we lose sight of what each of us possess, the precious gem which is an inherent, unencumbered, pure place of grace within. The place where we touch our immeasurable glory and worth. And we miss the fact that the pebbles will help us remember this.

I often journal my musings on the computer. Yet once in awhile I need to take pen to the paper. It uses a different part of the brain, and can open doors I hadn’t realized even existed, doorways to remembering that place of grace. Recently I found myself noodling in my journal, writing out and reflecting on a conversation I have had many times over the years around the topic of the interconnectedness all life.

When wanting to convey the idea of interconnectedness, I find it useful to remember, and speak to the idea, that we humans grew up out of EARTH.” We weren’t plopped down from space or dropped in from elsewhere. Rather we emerged out of this big, blue planet like all other life forms. However, as I wrote the that statement in my journal, I looked down and realized I had written we humans grew up out of WORTH.” It wasn’t until a couple sentences later that I realized what I had written. I then unconsciously crossed out the word WORTH and wrote EARTH. It happened so fast, it took my breath away.

After sitting with it for a moment, I realized the power of the statement. There were two truths living within it. The first, seemingly obvious gemstone one, is that I was created whole and grew up out of WORTH. Each one of us “grew up” out of that place of grace, created as the fullness of worthiness, fully divine.

Then there was the other truth I saw, perhaps what might be called the pebble one. I grew up OUT of worth, meaning, my life may have started as whole, but I grew out of it. Through life’s challenges, traumas, and hurts I grew out of any awareness or belief in my own worthiness. I had been collecting pebbles – in my shoes, tripping over them, falling on them, getting covered with cuts and bruises by them.

I had to pause as both of these realities settled together within me, seemingly opposite, yet each pointing to the other. Each pointing me to where my work lies, within myself, and out in the world. To know this place of grace, of where I grew up out of worth, is to know who I am, who you are, as well as just as we are – nothing to be fixed, nothing broken, already loved. To know this place of worth, the precious gem from which I grew, AND to know where I grew out of it, is a lifelong task. It is the journey of unlearning, of unbecoming who I never was, using the pebbles I have picked up along the way as my map of wholeness, yet being what I have always been, an exquisite precious gem.

Seeing and befriending the places and experiences where I grew out of worthiness, where I lost my identity with it, are the places that still need my nurturing. That is my practice these days – remembering I grew up out of worth, AND seeing the places where I have grown out of worth. It is the work for all of us, to uncover that original place of grace, and live there, pebbles and all. Think of it as unlearning our way back to WORTH. It is the exquisite journey of a rock tumbler, polishing the pebbles into the precious gems they have always been.

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