Gran's Apple Butter Blog

July 26, 2011

Going Home, Excerpt: Pearls (6/VII)

Filed under: Authentic self,Books,Companions,Front Porch Rambles,Going Home,Love,Relationships,Sharing the journey — Mary Batson - FrontPorchRambles @ 10:46 am

Chapter 6 ~ Pearls

     Once we have our eyes and hearts open, this whole love thing can be quite fun. Gran believed the purpose of all relationships was learning about ourselves and about others – both sides of the story. Sometimes we do this quickly and move on, other times it takes a while. We may not be sure what draws us to someone, but if we dig deeply enough, she thought we’d get to the root of it.

     Being in any relationship takes a lot of energy, and keeping that connection healthy and happy takes even more. It’s not for the faint of heart. We have to be willing to work, to dig through some dreck, to see through the shadows we project at each other. Once we clear all this away, Gran said we’d see a whole other world.

     It’s like growing a pearl. Three pearls, actually – one for each person, and the third they create as a pair. Shut inside an oyster shell together, now that’s commitment.

     Gran believed the work these two grains of sand were drawn together to do began close to home. It began with themselves – they were the treasures they’d been brought together to uncover. This may sound romantic until you consider how pearls are formed. It’s not very glamorous. It involves sand in uncomfortable places for large amounts of time and a lot of rubbing each other the wrong way. Sounds tempting, doesn’t it?

     We see our dark sides through each other’s eyes, the hotspots we’re here to work on. We become aware of things from our past that first shaped us and then shaped our relationships, debris that needs to be cleared before we can move forward.

     Some of our popular ideas don’t help, Gran said, teaching that we can start a new life with a blank slate, declare bankruptcy instead of paying our bills. She didn’t think this was very responsible, because it weakened our sense of accountability. There are ways and there are ways, she said, and there are also causes and effects, checks and balances, and records and memories that must all be tallied.

     It could be downright discouraging when those who walked that path encountered challenges, Gran said. That wouldn’t be right. She’d followed this road for a while, and when she reached the point where nothing felt fair, she started looking around for someone to blame for all her troubles, maybe even God. After all, she was a blank slate, so it couldn’t be her.

     Further along she learned about the scale of justice, which explained things a whole lot better. When sticky situations appeared after this, she understood that old accounts were coming into play again. This meant it was time for them to be resolved and healed, and that was truly encouraging – and just a little exciting!

     At the same time, Gran said, there’s no reason to focus on one’s darkness any more than on one’s light. Trying to move forward while only looking at one side is like trying to row with one oar: Your boat just goes in circles. Only through balance – looking at both sides – can that second oar ever hit the water.

     Then Gran would laugh, “Of course, I still have a lot to learn about this myself, so don’t listen to me!”  But she never backed down on one thing: Our greatest work is ourselves – you and I – confronting our pasts, our shadow sides, coming to terms with and resolving all these things, turning ourselves into those Pearls of Great Price we’ve so often heard about.

© Mary Batson, Going Home, Front Porch Rambles, and Gran’s Apple Butter Blog, 2010-2011. All rights reserved.
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