We are naturally drawn to the shiny…to the bright…to the illuminated. We can’t help it. Our gaze lifts when we see a sky full of stars on an otherwise dark night. On a lonely country highway, the lone bulb we see in the distance is attached to the light pole outside the farmhouse. Every boat approaching a harbor is glad to see the rotating beam from the lighthouse, firmly grounded at the end of the jetty.
But those are my favorite lights to see.
No, my favorite lights to see are the ones just under the surface — never before seen, the ones no one pays any attention to, full of potential not yet realized.
Those are the ones we forget even exist.
Yet, those are the ones we value most. The same ones that we need more than anything.
But where do we find such a gem? How can we know where to dig if we can’t see them? What happens if we find one that is a little dusty and dirty — do we spend the time polishing it, hoping it turns into something more beautiful?
Here is the thing we struggle with most…the dilemma of wondering.
I didn’t believe in the “diamond in the rough” unless it was related to “Aladdin”, the Disney© movie of the same name.
Then, without any warning, it happened to me.
Someone dug a little deeper than anyone else had before, brushed off the dirt and grime, and saw something that I never seen before. Something, no one else had mentioned or even thought to even exist. As many times as I looked at myself in the mirror, never did I see what this woman saw. (Honestly, some days, I still don’t.) To this day, I couldn’t tell you what grabbed her attention and held her gaze.
But through persistence (a lot of persistence), I began to eventually see myself in a completely different light. Not only did I see it, but I believed in it too. I began to notice when I was glowing and what situations and people brought out the vest best of me. It became something that could no longer be hidden and set me free all the same.
Too often, we find it difficult to look past the filth and muck…to look underneath to the beauty that is there. We get in a hurry in our daily lives and push away anything that doesn’t immediately call to us with its brilliance and glimmer. By doing so, we cheat ourselves out of something we all desperately need.
The diamond in the rough.
The unpolished jewel.
The damaged masterpiece.
Because we never know what we will find when digging for buried treasure, we still feel this force, this pull, calling us to see what else we can find. Ready to unleash whatever lays covered underneath, hoping for something to believe in.
One of my favorite words always when it comes to this is potential.
It leaves so much unsaid and undiscovered that it makes us believe in limitless possibilities with unrealized abilities and talents, just waiting to be discovered. It reminds us of our own imagination and the events that have transpired in our own lives that helped make us who we are.
We find hope in the smallest of places…in the laughter of a small girl, left abandoned by her mother…in the eyes of a teenager who has been forgotten by the system meant to protect him, and the woman who never knew who she could become.
Goodness is out there. It is. We may have to search a little more. It may need more dedication and effort on our parts to look for that special person out there who just needs someone to believe in them. It means becoming fixated on what is really there and not just plain to the naked eye. It means showing someone who they are is more than skin deep and that a beautiful soul and heart can never be covered up, no matter how hard anyone tries to do such a thing.
What do you see when you look at the old man living on the streets, holding a cardboard sign asking for help? Do you avoid his stare and pretend not to see him as a person?
What about the kid who acts a little different at school? The one that just seems to be loud and anxious because he is autistic and cannot seem to focus?
How about the woman who was a victim of a sex trafficking ring? The one who sold her body for money because no one ever believed she was worth anything real?
What do you see there? The broken, damaged souls who don’t stand a chance or someone who just needs a chance to shine?
Some is waiting for you to find them…but you will never find them shiny and bright. Most often, you will find them just as I was found…hiding in the dark, disheveled, and a little hard to look at.
But once you commit to finding your “diamond in the rough” and release its inner beauty, you know that you have done this world a great service…by finding something that was never meant to rot away and tossed away like junk. We find beauty and purpose where we search for it and when we allow our vision to be greater than what is before us, everything becomes possible.
Because we are all meant to be vibrant and twinkle, no matter how dark it is.
Michelle A. Homme 2016 ©