Wearing flip-flops, I walk slowly, slightly stooped, along the pebbled shore. I am careful to maintain my balance on the rocky water’s edge as I search for sea glass. Most are emerald green, some milky white, or clear. Wedged between the dark colored stones in crystal clear blue water, they are easy to spot. I scan the shoreline and shallow waters for flecks of green, or white. Once spotted, I quickly snatch them up before the small incoming waves ripple the surface and obscure my view, or bury my potential treasure. Captured, I flip and turn the piece between my fingers, feeling for imperfections. Taking a closer look at the shiny wet nuggets resting in the center of my palm, I keep the smooth ones and toss those with rough and jagged edges back out to sea.
As I watch the rejected glass splash into the deeper water I imagine the weeks, months and even years it spent tumbling among the rocks. First sharp and broken, it becomes smoother, polished with each tap and bump against the rocks.
I continue my search and my mind wanders to memories, experiences of broken days with sharp edges. Relationships that had me bumping up against the same obstacles, repeated patterns, time and time again. It took me a long time to learn that my circumstances were no accident. Every person, each incident presented was for the sole purpose of teaching me something. In the old days I ignored the lessons, ran away or quit before they were complete. The Universe, relentless in her teaching, simply provided more opportunities for me to try again. When I finally decided to listen and learn, my rough edges smoothed and I gained wisdom.
Squinting into the water, I see a large piece, the biggest so far. I scoop it up and immediately rub my thumb against it. It is almost perfect except for one nicked corner, too deep to ever smooth I think. The color so vibrant, I decide to keep it for my collection anyway.
As I admire its green glistening luster, I pick at the small gouge. Pressing it between my thumb and index finger, I imagine I could probably rub it away over time. I chuckle to myself, always trying to fix people and things, mold them to my liking. I stop, and accept it as it is. Like everything in the Universe, it is perfect in its imperfection. Just as I am perfect in mine.
It was in acknowledging my imperfections that I learned who I am really am. In accepting myself “as is,” I found an abundance of love and compassion for others.
So, I risk, I stumble and fall, I learn and grow. And I look and listen for the lessons. I change the things I can, and accept that which I cannot. I am meant to find joy, beauty and love beyond imperfections, rough exteriors and differences. I am meant to love my fellow humans and myself, as we are.
And I thought I was just looking for sea glass . . . 🙂