“The peace of God is everything I want. The peace of God is my one goal; the aim of all my living here, the end I seek, my purpose and my function and my life, while I abide where I am not at home.” ~ACIM: W-205.1
Generally, we see the pearl as a thing of beauty, a treasured gem whose beauty enhances the elegance of a woman when worn on her body. It is lovely. But it can be sobering to see the before pictures, how the pearl comes to be. It looks like a sticky, gooey mess. The mollusk fights off invading parasites or or external stimuli which threaten to damage its tissues by secreting certain minerals and chemical compounds that form a protective sac to stave off the offending irritation, thus protecting its body. In the process, as this action is repeated, the pearl emerges.
Life can be like that. My life has included many irritations — things I have allowed to influence my thinking and take residence in my psyche. People, situations, events have all served to irritate me. My own protective defenses have kicked in when a foreign thought or idea, usually of the social norm pushing for acceptance because “they” say so, tried to persuade me that what is coming from my own soul, the very depths of my being is foolish. Like the mollusk, I must stand guard over the integrity of my life. The truth is nothing can disturb the calm peace of my soul. All the hoopla and scare tactics from eternal stimuli cannot touch this thing of beauty within me. When I can remember this, I express life more fully. When I don’t, I feel irritated.
Thing is: all the so-called actions, loudmouth talk, and any number of other annoyances go on even though I am displeased. So, why give my power to those external things to irritate me? When I am tempted to judge a situation or person harshly (rightly or wrongly), I need to stop, and if need be, take a look in the mirror and remember those times I was as irritating or annoying. I don’t have to put up with things that make me uncomfortable, or that disturb my peace, but I can release an attachment or desire for something different. I can, as Byron Katie says, just love what is. Hard to do, I know, but doable. When I release and let go, I allow a space for the beauty within to become the without, to make itself known as my life. The irritant is transformed into the pearl. The shining pearl is peace. It is good to practice alchemy on the irritations of life, for surely they will arise. We have within us an automatic pearl-making system, available to fend off the outside invaders. If we reach within for it, we will maintain equanimity.
Sometimes out of the messiness, irritation and annoyances which may seem to threaten or harm, beauty is born.
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