Shine On Baby, Shine On

Diamonds. Precious gems. They don’t start out looking like the stunning pieces they are transformed into.

While cleaning my rings recently I watched my dull, drab stones return to their shining glory and it generated some thoughts for consideration:

  1. These stones that become near and dear to us don’t usually start out as the bright shiny things we love to display in their exquisite settings.
  2. Someone other than the raw stone had a vision first, seeing the worth and beauty achievable before the process even began, knowing the outcome would be worth the painstaking effort it would take.
  3. Someone has to chip away at them, refine and shape them with the care and patience of a skilled craftsman.
  4. The stones can’t go through the process by themselves, they need the loving hands of others to help them.
  5. It takes time and perseverance to forge them into something worthy of human admiration (too bad sometimes that we don’t embrace the raw beauty).
  6. Some jewels of course are not stunning until they’ve experienced the fire of refinement.
  7. These raw gems, these diamonds in the rough don’t ask to be refined, it just happens to them whether they like it or not. They are chosen, they don’t choose.

When the process is complete they find themselves surrounded by precious metals, melted and moulded to show off their intricate facets, created to fit the stones perfectly, positioning them to glitter and shine.

Once these prized treasures have been worn a while they become dirty and in need of cleaning to renew their sparkle. Even if they’ve been put away and not worn for a time, they collect dust and dirt and require some TLC just the same.

Claws wear down and need to be rebuilt to ensure the safety of the stones so they remain intact. Just because the stone(s) are gorgeous and perfect in the eye of the beholder, does not mean they are without risk of loss or damage. Even though strength has been infused through the refining process, great care must be given to protect them from the elements.

The remarkable thing about precious gemstones is that they are survivors. They get chipped at, put through the fire, re-shaped, power sanded and washed…chipped at some more and at some point polished. You name it they’ve been through it. The more they’re worked over, the more beautiful they become. They don’t reach their full splendour until and unless they’ve been through what may be considered the worst of times.

When these jewels are finally deemed presentable, there is no question as to the gleam and reflection of light that comes at you from every angle, the facets clearly depicting a story of process, of time and of intricate preparation. Your eyes are riveted, you twist and turn them in the light to delight in their magnificence.

Is there a moral to the story? Nothing compares to a gemstone refined to reflect its true, inner self. It doesn’t come easy but boy is it worth it for the transformation that emerges….don’t you think?


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  1. #1 by Joshua Guffey on May 25, 2012 - 1:06 am

    Wow Shandra. This post of yours it is very apt for me at this time in my life. I just came out of a position that wasn’t ever quiet right for me… and yet it was exactly right in that it gave me skills and perspectives that I would not have otherwise gained.

    This week I started a position earning considerably more from home, doing something that is much more enjoyable, for a person (and a culture) that I feel much more aligned with. It’s a real joy.

    So far the position is perfectly challenging. It’s taking everything I’ve got to stay up to speed with my boss/mentor, and yet it isn’t more than I can handle.

    Thanks for your shining analogy. It felt good to read. 🙂

    Joshua Guffey

    PS. Happy Friday! ;-]

    • #2 by shandracarlson on May 25, 2012 - 7:43 am

      Thanks for taking time to read and to comment Joshua! I have great respect for people who change what they don’t like about their lives and it sounds like you’ve done just that. I hope your new position brings you many years of fulfillment and joy as you make a difference for yourself and for others.

      Shine on Baby…

      PS – Happy Friday!! 🙂

  2. #3 by Shelley on May 25, 2012 - 8:47 pm

    Hey Shandra, this blog was timely for me today as I am feeling liked I have been chipped away at and thru the fire lately in certain situations in my life right now. It’s good to keep things into perspective and think about the positive things that may be ahead….thanks for sharing friend. Shelley

    • #4 by shandracarlson on May 25, 2012 - 9:15 pm

      Sometimes it’s hard to see where the beauty of it is, but it shows up in time….too bad sometimes it takes a LONG time!

    • #5 by shandracarlson on May 30, 2012 - 12:09 pm

      Shine on Baby! 🙂

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    "Here's to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round heads in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They're not fond of rules, and they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify, or vilify them. But the only thing you can't do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do." ~ Jack Kerouac
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