I have a lot of jewellery. Mostly costume jewellery and some beautiful crystals set as rings or necklaces from my 'hippy shop' retail days. These days, I don't wear jewellery very often, but its nice to pull them out when the mood so takes me.
But there is one item I have which is kept safe and separate from the mess of chains and beads in my jewellery box. It is a pearl necklace, stored like a precious treasure inside a red velvet box, strung carefully from a hook inside the lid so when you open it, it is displayed perfectly and elegantly.
I inherited it from my Nanna- well, when I say inherited, I mean that my family had decided I would appreciated it the most when they were packing her belongings. I think that says a lot for my family- most things for us are more about sentimentality than money.
On special occasions, when just the right outfit calls for it, I will bring out that luscious velvet box and feel like a princess as I lift the pearls from their hook and feel the fresh coolness against my skin as I fasten the latch around my neck. Pearls don't go with everything I wear, and these pearls, a gift from my Gramps to my Nanna in an era long gone, are special to me in more ways than one.
So, I look at these pearls and contemplate where they started their existence, before they bustled and bartered their way into that shop that my Gramps walked into one day while thinking loving thoughts of my Nanna. Pearls are formed when some sand or another irritant gets inside an oyster. To protect itself, the oyster secretes a mucus which covers the cause of irritation and the pearl is gradually formed.
It is amazing that something so beautiful and precious in this material world is formed from such painful and disgusting beginnings.
But this is what life is, isn't it? Inside each of us is something magnificent being formed from all kinds of painful and disgusting experiences. These things are what make us beautiful, strong and precious.
I look at those pearls of my Nanna's, and feel pain that her and my Gramps aren't here any more. This loss I feel has helped me to understand others, given me an appreciation for life and caused me to re-evaluate what I feel life is. That pain opened the path which lead me to work for Happy Science, and the life I have now is a truly blessed one.
No matter what your suffering, look for the pearl that it is forming. This is your Divine Nature. This is the beautiful self that you will one day be able to show the world and God with no inhibitions or fear. In the darkest moments is when your most beautiful pearl is being formed. I pray you will find that Divine Nature within you and see yourself the way God sees you.