polished-rocks-stones-12824817There was a period in our life when my husband and our daughter and I were fascinated with small rocks. We enjoyed scanning creek beds for the most colorful ones, which we took home to polish in a rock tumbler. It was a three-stage process, each stage requiring several days. The first step took a coarse grit that would knock off the rougher edges of the rocks.  The second step used finer grit.  By the third step the rocks were ready for the finest grit, which brought out the brilliance and rich colors of the rocks.  We delighted in watching their full beauty gradually emerge.

As my husband and I approach our 50th anniversary, I find myself reflecting back over the years.  Our book of life together is overflowing with many beautiful, happy, and loving memories.  However, there are memories of some painful times recorded there as well.

Looking back to the early years, I see myself as a young woman with much to learn.  I hadn’t been taught how to handle disagreements with respect and balance.  Full-blown denial kept me from seeing how my own distorted thinking patterns contributed to the chaos in our home.  I often thought everything would be better if only he would change.

I wouldn’t have believed that I could be self-centered, critical or full of self-pity.  I’d barely heard the word perfectionism and had little inkling of its meaning.  Later I was to look these self-defeating attitudes square in the eye and see them as my own.

Changes happened gradually. I had to start with the coarsest grit to knock off the roughest edges first. Denial had to go. I couldn’t break free of the grip of my stinking thinking until I was willing to subject myself to honest scrutiny of my shortcomings.   I had to see them for what they were before I could be willing to let them go. It was important that I not judge myself in the process.  I learned that It’s okay to not be perfect. With much help from my Higher Power and wise and honest friends, many of the roughest edges began to fall away.

I’m still, and always will be, in the polishing process as I tumble through life. However, the rewards are bountiful.  I actually catch glimpses of beauty and brilliant color replacing old, dull, rough edges of past behaviors and mistaken thinking patterns.

Now, as I scan the years, I see that we have each changed significantly for the better.  Gone are the days of long and frequent emotional binges, which were laden with verbal attacks and way too many tears.  Sure, we sometimes have unpleasant exchanges, however they are short-lived and quickly resolved.  Tears are rare.  Laughter is abundant.

Let me see the gritty times in my life as polishing agents for bringing out the beauty that is my natural inheritance as a child of God.


Written November 2, 2013 (26 days before our 50th Wedding Anniversary.)  The Committed Relationship.


1 comment to Polishing

  • Marilyn

    WOW! this is another of “this is the best one so far”. really I think it is. Starting a new relationship in my late sixties, I am grateful that some of that polishing had already been done. None the less, because it was a different relationship there was and remains to be some mmore polishing to be done. I will keep this image in my mind when we run into some of that grit that needs to go.

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