Greetings from the Land of Enchantment: The Pearl of Great Price

Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Pearl of Great Price

When I was a kid, the story known as The Pearl of Great Price always baffled me. I never understood why someone would sell everything for a pearl--something that may have been valuable but what use would it be in their life, right? Even as a child I had an acute awareness of replacement value--you may sell something for cheap, but to get another one you're going to pay a price. So I was stunned that a man would exchange everything for this pearl of great price. I couldn't comprehend the idea of 'treasuring' something to that extent.

Later, during Kundalini Teacher Training actually, I began to get a sense of the value of this 'pearl' and I began to ask myself, What is that thing that I would exchange everything for? Because that's ultimately the meaning of the story. I began to realize that it was my Self, my essential goodness, my purity, my being a woman. That was the great pearl; indeed, I was that pearl.

My teacher said to me: "You are a gem, a jewel. If a man isn't ready to take positive, committed action to be with you, then I make no excuses for him." So, if a man isn't ready to exchange everything to be with me; and I in turn to be with him--why want that? And yet, I see myself repeatedly in my life making that choice--being unable to value myself, not allowing myself to be the pearl that I am, the Grace of God that Yogi Bhajan speaks about. And that is about me--not about anyone else. But seeing it is the beginning of changing it--and therein lies my hope.

I weigh these things in my mind and on my heart as I look once again at who I've chosen in the past--and who has chosen me--as I try to make my way through this labyrinth that is love. Perhaps I'm too naive or simplistic--perhaps I don't recognize the complexity. But after years of looking for my soulmate and longing for my destiny, I now simply want to be with the one I enjoy being with--easy, right? Someone who makes me laugh, someone who's easy to talk to, someone who makes me feel beautiful and safe and loved, someone who's easy to love, someone who awakens in me the desire to serve, the desire to humble myself, the desire to be truly a woman.

My mother has served and loved my father for more than 50 years. In my twenties I often thought of their relationship with some measure of contempt, saying to myself, I'm not going to jump and fetch. And yet, now, I see their relationship as this beautiful dynamic of service and love to one another--he in his way and she in hers. And seeing their happiness, her happiness, I know that my contempt for 'jump and fetch' was wrong thinking. The privilege of serving another person, the one you love, is the greatest gift of all and the only true happiness. Should I get that privilege I hope to honor it and cherish it in every moment. Because the fruits of such a marriage, the work of bliss, is a loving family--and that I can say with certainty is what I was gifted with -- that is the pearl of great price.


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