Soul Evolution and Making Jewelry
When you cut a diamond so that it is perfectly faceted to reveal it’s most perfect light, perfect beauty, perfect radiance, you do not measure the diamond by the fragments that were chipped away in the cutting process. But this is what you do to yourself. Learn to thank the pieces that fall away for their sacrifice of themselves in the process of revealing the God within. (From The Road Home Book II: Into The Fire)
Very beautiful, but let me tell you, if you haven’t already noticed it yourself, that chipping away to reveal that diamond inside you can be a very painful process. I was an A student pretty much all through school. I had my occasional B, especially in higher math, but I got A’s where it counted most, which for me was in English—writing papers, thinking intelligently and being able to express those thoughts well. Inadvertently, I guess being a good writer became part of my identity. It was something I relied on, maybe took for granted, like a runner might unquestioningly rely on his strong leg muscles or a massage therapist might take for granted that his hands will just know where to go. I never got any other feedback than that I was a good writer, and so I ran with those muscles confidently attached to my bones.
Until a few days ago, that is, when a good friend told me she thought my book, The Road Home: A Light In The Darkness, needed some good editing to make it more accessible to the reader. The change in tenses was confusing, she said, and she thought the average reader would have trouble navigating it. She might have stabbed me right in the heart. Instantly I felt pain radiating out from my core, shooting up into my throat, wanting to silence me forever. Shame hit me like a sharp blow. Oh my God, I’m not a good writer after all. The legs I’ve counted on all this time have failed me. I’ve stumbled over the biggest and most important hurdle and I’ve fallen.
A thousand A’s and all the good feedback I’ve gotten about my book got hacked off in a moment. I wouldn’t exactly say “fragments” of my psyche fell away– more like hunks of me just crumbled. But coming back to reality, which I eventually did, I am very grateful for my friend’s feedback. If there is anything I want, it is for my books and my writing to be accessible. I want to write that A paper about the most important subject I will ever tackle. If the tenses are confusing, I can do something to make them clear. If there is a rough edge on the diamond of my writing, of course I want to polish it down to perfect luminescence. I’ve decided to hire an editor.
Coming back to reality, I also have to take a look at those hunks of my psyche that crumbled. I think a certain pride in my writing ability needed to come into question. I think I understand now, as never before, that there is a fine line I walk between reliance on my innate call to writing and being open to getting expert feedback. Writing has been, for as long as I can remember, the sacred temple I have worshipped in. It is where I found God and where God found me. Perhaps I haven’t really let anyone else into this inner chamber of my temple, not really. Perhaps I think I know better.
I never considered any of this before my friend suggested some good editing. I also didn’t know how bossy or critical I could be until I got married to my wonderful husband who mirrors me back to myself like nobody’s business. I see these things now because I have let him in. And I see beauty in myself I would not have seen either were it not for his reflection of me. It’s time to open the doors of my sacred temple of writing and let in some new reflections.