Many of the finest cutting tools in the world are edged in diamond and no group understands why more than women. Overall, women seem to have an uncanny ability to dig into the seemingly hardest of exteriors. After an evening of SM, I am honestly drained from the critical, degrading, catty and disrespectful comments from WOMEN about WOMEN. I made diamonds the focus of this blog because I firmly believe that women are truly a treasure. However I’m afraid that I am raising daughters in a world where we diamonds are being diminished and destroyed by those who we should share the closest bonds with. When will the madness stop?
If you ask many women to select their dream diamond ring , more often than not they will select the LARGEST & FLASHIEST stone in the case. Carat weight, the last of the 4 C’s refers to the size of a diamond in a piece of jewelry. During my days as a salesperson, I was often asked by women to see the “largest” stone or ring in the bridal case. Many times these were women who had chosen the “perfect” ring… yet they weren’t even dating, let alone engaged. “What?” Above the relationship with a partner, beyond the scope of a deep love and respect, the “SIZE” & “BLING” mattered the MOST.
It seems that in our society BIGGER and BRIGHTER is better. This idea of competition at all cost is not reserved for the jewelry world but permeates the fabric of popular culture everywhere. Upon visiting your local grocery store or pharmacy, one can’t help but be overwhelmed by the magazines plastered with images of lavish clothes, accessories, cars etc. A constant reminder that size and quantity are essential to a happy life.
DIAMONDS……. This is a problem.
I’ve written this post to refute the idea that more or bigger is better. In fact a large, cloudy and fractured diamond pales in comparison to a small, beautiful and flawless diamond. At a glance the larger diamond has more value but upon closer inspection it lacks the quality to make it a lifelong treasure. In contrast, a small flawless diamond is coveted, expensive and in many cases out lives the owner of the diamond. In other words, the QUALITY will always mean more than the QUANTITY.
As women we have become very competitive in a number of ways, often reducing our worth to mere amounts. The SIZE of our behinds & chests, the NUMBER of degrees we have, the AMOUNT of makeup we wear, the COST of our shoes and handbags, all but determine our value in society. When did our values become so warped? Character traits like kindness, integrity, wisdom, forgiveness, intelligence, patience and a loving heart are just a few of the things that make us valuable as diamonds.
I have been to a few funerals in my life and I have NEVER heard a eulogy that included the deceased person’s account balance or shoe collection. When we leave this earth, it will be OUR QUALITIES that remain. So in this last installment of the 4 C’s, I ask that you take inventory of who you are inside DIAMONDS. Allow the most valuable parts of you to shine from the inside out.
Clarity is the lens with which a woman sees her sense of purpose and vision for her future. While a diamonds’ cut may be its’ source of light, clarity describes the imperfections that prevent light from passing through the diamond. As women, we may have discovered our particular cut (see previous post), yet still find that we do not possess the brilliance for which we were destined. Our beings, while filled with immense potential to achieve our heart’s desires, are comprised of what jewelers call “inclusions”.
Inclusions are the slight imperfections that are present in a diamond as a result of the pressure and heat required for it to form. Regardless of your background, beliefs or age, there are experiences that have “marked” your diamond in some undesirable way. It may be a small voice of doubt, self-pity, low self esteem or an underlying fear. Regardless of its identity, it prevents you from being your best self and shining the way that only YOU can.
In the jewelry world, inclusions can diminish a diamonds value. Thank goodness we’re only “similar” to diamonds! In reality, EVERY struggle, EVERY heartbreak, EVERY failure and disappointment has made you stronger and wiser. Because of your inclusions, the light that passes through you does not simply glow but BURSTS through because it had to survive BEYOND the scars and THROUGH the pain.
Diamonds have great CLARITY, not because they are without mistakes but because we understand that WE ARE BETTER for them.
If there’s one thing I know about diamonds, it is that they ARE NOT created equal. All one has to do is look at the vast assortment of diamond jewelry and their variance in price. (Hint. Hint.) In the same manner, women come in a myriad of forms, shapes and sizes . A true lady, would NEVER invest in a diamond that was not properly vetted, so if we are going to embark on a journey of comparing ourselves to diamonds, it seems only logical that we also evaluate our own VALUE in life. Now when I say “value” I am in no way reducing women to objects worthy of a price tag. However, I AM saying that each of us needs to know exactly what those things are that make us a “diamond” worth coveting, worth possession and worth adulation. As usual, thinking on this subject dredged up memories of my jewelry selling days. Whenever I presented a piece of diamond jewelry to a customer, I always began by highlighting the stones’ attributes using something called “THE 4 C’S “. The 4 C’s are the basic criteria used by all jewelers to determine the overall value of a stone.
“When it comes to grading diamond’s, the “Cut” is a grade of the diamond’s reflective qualities — not the diamond’s shape.” http://www.adiamondbuyingguide.com/diamondcut.html
The cut of a diamond determines the amount of light that will reflect from it for the world to see. These cuts fall into one of four categories. Stones are either “ideal”, “fine”, “deep” or “shallow”. I realize the last one sounds harsh, but we ALL know a “shallow” diamond.
“Ideal Diamonds” These are my well-rounded ladies. The ones who seem to seamlessly maneuver between circles, all whilst maintaining the same level of brightness and beauty. This woman exudes her inner beauty in a t-shirt and jeans at the park, at her 9-5 or even in a ball gown.
“Fine Diamonds” These are self-assured ladies. Women who very much know who they are, what they want and where they are going in life. They are open to new experiences, but carry their own unique air everywhere they go.
“Deep Diamonds” Women who have rich life experience and wisdom that glimmers through their every word and action. Her value is evident but not flashing to be accepted by the masses. She’s crossed THAT bridge and no one or nothing will steal her light.
“Shallow Diamonds” Women who spend so much time pretending to be one of the stones above that people often question the authenticity of the “real thing” when they encounter it.
To Be Continued…….
Which kind of diamond best describes you?
Yesterday was April 1st, the day most commonly referred to as “April Fool’s Day” in the U.S. While not a traditional holiday, the pranks and jokes shared are a good way to begin what is a wonderful month. April is a month where the weather is warmer, the sun shines a little brighter, people begin getting rid of the old to make room for all things new. In a nutshell, it is a period of rejuvenation and growth. That being said it seems only fitting that the highly coveted diamond is April’s birthstone.
A little history…..
In the not-so-distant past I worked for a very large and well-known jewelry store for 5 years. (You may be familiar with their catchy “kiss” jingle and holiday T.V. ads.) During my time as an employee I learned a great deal about jewelry of all kinds, but more so about diamonds. Beyond the typical attraction to its sparkle, I grew to appreciate and treasure the stone in ways I never imagined. I learned to move beyond the “product” and instead admired the “process”. Here are a few fun facts about diamonds:
- They are the hardest substance found on the Earth.
- They are formed under TREMENDOUS PRESSURE and heat; between 75 -120 miles under the Earth’s surface.
- Less than 20 percent of mined diamonds are actually gem quality.
Thinking about diamonds made me think about myself.
LIKE A DIAMOND, I was formed in a less than perfect (dirty) situation. I too had spent most of my life unseen and smothered by all the things around me. LIKE A DIAMOND, I had experienced tribulation and extreme pressure from all sides. Diamonds are merely lumps of coal and rock in their infancy and like me once, seemingly invaluable. I had become discouraged, despondent, stiff and downright miserable. Life was giving me its’ best shots and I had held the pain of EVERY SINGLE ONE of them. My mind was filled with worry, my body void of energy and worst of all, MY MOUTH filled with complaints! I was focused on all of the things that had hurt me and was upset that things never seemed to change. I decided to go to GOD in prayer over myself. Then I allowed my mind & spirit to do something it hasn’t done in a long time … BE QUIET. It was in that quiet that I dug deep to the root of my problem. As I countdown to my thirtieth birthday, I began taking inventory of my life and what it means for my future.
Then it hit me!
I’m not like a diamond. I AM A DIAMOND! My life possessed a rough beginning. I had experienced pain, suffering, loss and trauma. I had been burned, but I HAD SURVIVED! I was so busy sulking in the dirt of my past that I hadn’t noticed how much I’ve changed. I am stronger, brighter, sharper and more valuable than I had ever been before! Not because I had been treated gently or kindly and coddled by life but because I had been forged under pressure. Every moment of my journey has added another facet to the woman I am today and just like real diamonds, each facet brings a little more sparkle, a little more value. I have wisdom and perspective that I could only gain through my past experiences. While I don’t want to relive them, I APPRECIATE the role they played in creating the woman that exists right now.
I have decided to accept my identity as a diamond with humility and excitement! I’m looking forward to shining for all of the world to see. I encourage anyone else who finds themselves surrounded by dirt and under pressure to do the same. It is NOT EASY being a diamond, but all gems experience pressure in this life. It is up to us to decide what type of gem we become based on how we handle the pressure.
Why choose to be anything other than a diamond?
At this very moment there are only two people in the world who know that I’m writing on a blog so no one has actually “asked” me why I’ve decided to start a blog. Nevertheless, there is something inside me that is simmering, brewing and about to boil over so to speak. (Not to sound like a steel pot.) Tomorrow I return to work from a short vacation and I found myself thinking about how I have spent this time. After reflecting on my activities, I realized that I spent almost an hour this weekend watching a tutorial on the proper way to fill in your eyebrows. I followed this action by searching online for the best eyebrow brushes to use on my face. While I’m sure this sounds innocent (and boring) at first, the problem is that I HAD NO BUSINESS SPENDING OVER AN HOUR ON EYEBROWS! I am all for looking beautiful and all but did it deserve the amount of time and attention I had given it?
LET ME EXPLAIN……..
You see I am a wife, mother of three children and an elementary school teacher. Monday through Friday my day begins at 5 a.m. and often ends around 10:30 p.m. I spend 12-13 hours away from home each day between work and travel; only to return home to prepare dinner, wash clothes, check homework, grade papers and spend a few moments alone with my husband. My theoretical “weekend” is spent running errands I don’t have time for during the week, spending time with my children, going to church and grabbing a nap if I can. Most mornings I manage to put together a quick 10 minute face but that’s being generous. Even if I became an “expert” eye-brow filler, would I ever have the time to execute it?
THAT WAS THE MOMENT I REALIZED….
I realized that I was competing against the incessant influx of images and opinions on looks/lifestyle/beauty that fill our Facebook pages, T.V. shows, magazine covers and movie screens. The images that say “this” is what real, everyday women look like. Pictures that serve to make career women and mothers like me feel as if we are on the outside looking in. Today, I say to those images “NO!, I am what REAL WOMEN look like!” I have been told that women who love hard, work hard, raise children, help their families and encourage husbands are a “dying breed”. This could not be farther from the truth. We often exist quietly, putting everyone ahead of ourselves while others get all the glory. In reality it is us who are the role models, the trailblazers and the change makers. I am determined to shed a little light on OUR beauty, OUR lives, on OUR importance to the world. Not because we are superior or persecuted but because WE DESERVE IT! We are not at all a “dying breed” but instead a DIAMOND BREED.
Welcome readers. It is time to SHINE!