Your Pearl Nature

image of brain with technology  iconsDo you let yourself think about what a gem you are?  And that you are surrounded by other gems? I’m using “gem” as a way of describing how precious and valuable your life is.  Granted we all might have a few (or many) rough edges, but I’d like you to consider looking at yourself and others through this lens of being a precious gem.

For some fun mind play, let yourself consider the world as your oyster which means that you are the pearl!  And optimally, everyday you are being formed and polished and reflecting high value.  The way that happens is that there has to be some irritant to “grind” at, to work with in order to form the pearl.  An oyster just does what it needs to do when faced with an irritating grain of sand. Our irritations take a variety of forms like relationship conflicts, financial struggles or debt, job distress, family problems, and so on. We usually have a bit more trouble than an oyster does because often our attitude blocks us from doing what we need to do to smooth our edges.  When we do attend to the grinding and smoothing process it reflects who and what we really are – a precious gem of high value.

I know that it’s quite difficult at times to see ourselves and others in this way.  We give ourselves lots of reasons and excuses for why this isn’t so.  Or we place conditions on accepting the preciousness of our being. I call it the “I’ll be ok when….” syndrome. This conditional love plays out in so many ways.

I see this operating often in close relationships too. It shows up in our behavior as if we’re saying, “I’ll love and fully accept you when you do what I want you to do, … say what I want you to say, …give me what I want you to give me. Or fill in the blank with your particular flavor of conditional love in the moment toward yourself or toward another.  We put up a barrier between ourselves and the other by criticizing, judging, and placing conditions on whole-hearted loving. And we’ll feel justified in doing it. Unfortunately, that’s what we’ve learned about loving.  But the thing we’re not paying attention to is that we’re acting like a “paste stone” rather than the precious gem we really are. And when our “gem-ness” is in charge our lives change in so many positive ways.

  • What is your irritant?
    Is it relationship conflict? financial struggle or debt? a crummy job??
  • What’s your attitude about it?
    Do you tell yourself there’s nothing much you can do, that you’re a victim of circumstances or of someone else?
  • What conditions do you place on loving and accepting yourself or another?
  • Do you look for what you can do about it or how you might change
    your circumstances?

Your attitude is most important.  Your actions will depend on what you think about yourself, how you view your life and your circumstances.

If you see yourself as a pearl, you’ll treat yourself differently than if you see yourself as a paste stone.  You’ll treat yourself and others with love and acceptance, compassion and understanding.  And you’ll take actions that can produce it.

Here’s a fun experiment.

For one day (or more please!), treat yourself like a precious pearl.  Wear something that feels good.  Surround yourself with beauty, things that compliment your “pearl” nature.  Eat high
quality food.  Move with pleasure and delight.  You get the picture. Then see what happens.

  • How do you feel?
  • What’s your attitude, your mood?
  • Notice what you move toward, what you want, what catches your attention.
  • Notice if ease takes up residence in your bodymind.

And enjoy!

There is more hunger for love and appreciation
in this world than for bread.
~ Mother Teresa

About the author

Suzanne Kilkus

Suzanne Kilkus is a Soto Zen meditation practitioner and teacher and has practiced as a therapist and counselor for over three decades. She is dedicated to assisting people in expanding their capacity for giving and receiving love, and for recognizing and expressing their basic goodness in everyday life. Her path to live with wholehearted compassion and care is an invitation to everyone. She is a teacher with Open Door Zen Community in Madison, WI.