When my adorable husband and I first started dating, he introduced me to prospecting. That is digging for gold. It isn’t something that will make us rich some day, but I have learned to appreciate the process, and I actually consider it to be fun, peaceful and a great way to spend time with him. Our gold digging has taken us to the great outdoors at the San Pedro Mountains, Pilar, Red River, and for course my home town of Taos. If you haven’t been to these places I highly suggest you pack up your stuff and take a road trip. These places are full of beautiful mountains with lots of new trails to explore. You do need to be careful with the rattle snakes though, I had to save Dan from one at one time,but that is another story for another time. I truly believe that the mountains are God’s country… wild, free, and just breath taking.
Finding gold is not easy. The first step is knowing where to dig. Digging is something I am not rather good at, (or rather I don’t find rather luxurious), so I leave that part up to Dan. So while he digs and digs I enjoy the beauty that surrounds me and the love that I feel deep inside and out. Sometimes I enjoy a good book.
When the digging is over, the fun part begins. Panning. Now panning is interesting because you need a lot of water. In order to find gold in the dirt, you have to wash away the dirt. Apparently gold is a heavy metal, so it sinks to the bottom of the pan. So very slowly and carefully, you wash away all the dirt, and then poof, gold appears! I am always fascinated with this process because when you look the big pile of dirt before you, you can’t see any gold. Add some water, clean up the dirt and then holy shit, GOLD! It’s like catching fish when you’ve been fishing all day, or finishing up a beautiful project of some sort- there is satisfaction in the hard work you put in.
The other day when Dan and I were enjoying an IPA and panning for gold, something special came to mind. So special that I smiled and laughed and filled with joy when I once again found little specs of gold in the dirt. WHY? Because that something special is me and you! Think about it. Don’t we all have a little gold in us too? The little spec of precious shiny stuff inside of us, hiding in the dirt. The shiny stuff that is worth so much and is so precious and valuable. It’s the unique essence of what makes us who we are. Our character, our values, our personality and mostly our capacity to love.
I know, I know, we tend to only notice “the dirt” that we don’t realize that there is gold in there. Sometimes the dirt seems so heavy and dense that there is no way gold can be hiding in there. Or sometimes we think our dirt is too dirty, so why would something so beautiful, so precious and so valuable be hiding there? Or worse, maybe we know about the gold inside of us but we hide it! We hide it because our specs are not as big as the others. Or we think our shiny precious light is not enough so we pretend we don’t have any.
Maybe what is even worse than that, is when we do discover our gold and we share it with other people, but instead of accepting it as a precious gift, they laugh at us or reject us! They tell us our gold is too small, or not enough. Or they get scared and tell us to hide it because the world just doesn’t want our gold. Or they become angry and jealous because they don’t want to discover thier own gold, or compare ours to theirs and find thiers inadequate so they make us feel inadequate. So we think the best solution is to keep our gold a secret and keep showing off our dirt instead, so that others are not threatened or angry with us. How sad but true! Here is why….
We don’t give people an adequate amount of time to surprise us. We see nothing but dirt and we judge them, shame them, blame them or cast stones at them. We interact with them a few times and make a judgment. A judgement, in my opinion, that is not accurate. You really do need to take the time to know someone before tossing them away, or talking negative about them.
I know for a fact that I am not the same person I was ten years ago. I also know that I do my best to be better than I was yesterday. I work hard to find the gold inside me and to let it shine. It’s easy to reminisce in shame and regret rather then with grace and forgiveness. I think the water that washes the dirt away is just that- grace and forgiveness. The more we give people grace and forgiveness the more they will soon realize that they are worthy.
I need to do better at seeing the gold in people. I need to realize that we are all in the same boat as far as trying to wash away the dirt. I know I can’t control other people and I can’t wash away their dirt for them. I can tell them I see the gold there, but I can’t make them see it for themselves. More love, more grace, more forgiveness. That is all we can do.
What I struggle with the most, is when others don’t see the gold in me. I want to physically open their eyes, and show them that it is there. I suppose it’s the insecure little girl inside me that cares if this person sees me or not. As I grow up and mature, I realize that it is out of my control and is none of my business what others think of me. However, it especially hurts when it’s someone who you care about and no matter how much effort you put into making the relationship work, they refuse.
This is my philosophy when it comes forgiveness- when we withhold our forgiveness to someone, it is essentially an act of self-righteousness. Forgiveness is simply a reminder that I am on equal ground with every other child of God. We all fuck up. We all have dirt in our lives. Who are we to withhold our forgiveness as if we have never fucked up or indulged in our dirt before?
My friends, we will never fully know what motives or circumstances that cause another’s behavior.
I truly believe that to find gold in others, is to also find gold in yourself. That means to give them the benefit of the doubt, because more than likely they are doing the best they can.
I suppose there are times that the dirt is so thick and dense we can’t see the gold. We forget or chose not to see it is there- but it’s there, I promise. Give them enough time and they will surprise you. All I know is that it is there. It is in you too. And maybe when we summon up the courage to let the world know, maybe the world will see the gold too. Maybe the world will start to be more accepting and less judgy, and then when we encounter one another, we will see the gold that is there, hiding in the dirt, and smile with joy and love, rather than with disgust and judgement. Even if the gold is tiny little specs. We will notice them in others because we know it is in us. And then we can stop the hiding and the pretending and just let our gold shine!