I just got back from a quick beach vacation that was filled with a lot of thinking and just being. I went with my best friend and her son and my boys, and even though we were in the car together for a LONG TIME (we are not the quickest travelers) the boys spent a lot of time doing their own thing and we talked and listened to different personal development topics along the way. Both of us are kind of at a crossroads in our lives professionally speaking and the time to just get away and reflect was good for both of us. Although I don’t consider myself to be a big fan of water (I don’t like to get my face wet and I don’t swim well because of that), I love seeing and hearing the ocean. Really it doesn’t have to be the ocean, although there is something special about saltwater. As long as there are waves and that roaring crash and a body of water big enough to go as far as I can see I am happy. I feel an intense connection to something so much bigger than myself, something that I can’t describe but I know is there. I feel it to my core. And although I know that tides and wind and whatever else physically happens have an impact on what I am seeing and feeling, for me there is a knowing that this was all created by God.
One of my favorite things to do is just walk along the water with my toes in the sand, water washing over my feet. I also love to look for shells. There is something so cool about finding little bits of things that were alive and so beautiful and are now just here for me to bring home and enjoy! So as I am walking and thinking and shell collecting I see several of these little white perfect shells, kind of plain but just beautiful in their simplicity. I come across a few different, more colorful types and get excited when I see the ridges of a particularly large one sticking up out of the sand. Oh, wait. It’s not the perfect, whole shell I thought it would be. Instead it is broken in half and I feel disappointed and almost leave it. But then I think of how sad that would be. Why wouldn’t I want something that made me happy when I first saw it? Why should I reject it now just because it isn’t perfect? It still has beauty and value to me, it still makes me smile inside. That is how I came to have this beautiful mess of a shell collection from this trip. The broken pieces that I continued to find remind me that I don’t have to be perfect, and I shouldn’t expect that from anyone else. We don’t have to be the same – different colors, shapes, sizes – it doesn’t matter. It is our flaws and rough edges that make us unique and wonderful.