Mining Your Gems

By Jean Harley

Think of yourself as a mine full of gems just waiting to be discovered.  The treasures hidden there belong only to you.  They are part of who you are.  You might wonder why you haven’t discovered them before and why nobody else ever pointed them out to you.  The truth is that it takes insight and understanding to be on the lookout for them.  As a grandmother I’m looking carefully to identify gems in my grandchildren.

My 6 year old granddaughter, Sofia, brought home a painting she had done in her kindergarten art class.  When I saw it I was amazed—it is so colorful, interesting, and beautiful.  She, however, wasn’t thinking it was anything special– just something she liked doing.   I recognize that while she may not become a great artist, painting is definitely one of the talents she has been given.  It is one of the gems she carries inside.   As a grandmother, I want to help mine and polish those gems. I am having the painting framed to give her talent the recognition it deserves.

When I was Sofia’s age, I didn’t care much for painting or drawing and I didn’t get any encouragement to do it.  But in college I took some art history classes, went on an art history tour, got an M.A. in Art History, and worked as an education lecturer at an art museum.  As a bonus I was offered drawing and painting classes free of charge.  It was an offer I couldn’t refuse.  Over time I discovered I loved the whole painting process.  I don’t know whether providence or luck led me to those art classes, but I discovered a new gem.   And mining that gem still gives me hours of joy.  

You have gems in you just waiting to be discovered.  Think about things you enjoy doing or have enjoyed doing in the past.  Maybe it is time to develop those likes and interests further.  

For more ideas about how to find the gems in you and in your life, check out our book, “Now That I’m Here, What Should I Be Doing?: Discover Life’s Purpose”