On Becoming A Pearl: An Analogy of Life
A natural pearl forms when the mollusk is damaged or has been attacked and invaded by a parasite. The parasite enters the mollusk shell and travels past the mother of pearl and into the mollusk’s muscle. The muscle cells then produce a substance that coats the inside of the shell. This is the substance from which the pearl is produced.
The mollusk’s reaction to the parasitic invasion is to grow a sac around the parasite. The parasite dies and the mollusk continues to grow the substance in the cells which now creates the pearl.
Isn’t it interesting how we can compare our life to that of the mollusk and the growing of a pearl? In our life we are happily moving along and then a parasite decides to attack us. That parasite could be the death of a loved one, divorce, loss of a job, illness or any other multitude of possibilities.
The question is: do we adapt to these invasions? Do we pretend they are not happening? Do we overreact? Do we give up?
The mollusk realizes it has come under attack and does the logical thing by forming a protective barrier around the parasite. How do you form your protective barrier to deal with emotional, spiritual, physical, psychological stress?
Once the barrier has formed in the mollusk, the parasite then dies. In our life, do we let our problems die or do we hold onto them and let them grow and affect other parts of our lives?
Once the parasite in the mollusk dies, the mollusk continues to form the pearl. It is important to recognize that the parasite has to die before the pearl can be formed. The parasite does not die on its own; the mollusk forces it to die by developing the protective sac. Once the sac is in place and the parasite is dead, the mollusk then takes advantage of its own malady and creates a thing of beauty and value.
So, in our lives, we must recognize when we have been invaded. We must form a protective device against the invader. We must allow the invader to die within us. And then we can use this attack to grow into a better person.
One last observation: the natural pearl is very different from a cultured pearl. Cultured pearls are developed in mollusks that have been injected by humans in order to intentionally produce a pearl. The injection is a round tiny object that produces a round pearl when the mollusk produces the substance around the invader. Therefore, a cultured pearl is a pearl that has not been naturally produced. The natural pearls are much more valuable than cultured pearls.
So whether you can compare your life to a natural pearl or a cultured pearl, it makes no difference. Both have been invaded by parasites. And both have value.
I’d like for you to think of your life today as a pearl. A life with luster that reflects light. A life of genuiness that shows blemishes if you look hard enough. A life that has survived and grown from the result of being bombarded and invaded with problems and difficulties. A life that has chosen to shine with value, uniqueness, simplicity, and has been raised from the bottom of the ocean of helplessness to produce happiness to everyone it encounters.