Season: Fall

Permission to Buff Up the Tarnished Bits

By Glenna Wiseman

Sometimes aspects of ourselves get tarnished. We’ve traveled down the road a bit in life. Along the way, parts of ourselves we thought necessary to our self-worth drop away like golden leaves in fall. It’s ok. It’s part of a natural process of maturation and growth. The lovely colors of fall leaves remind us of the beauty of each stage. Staying present to the resonance and joy in that phase honors its gifts to you.

Other times true authentic parts of ourselves age, get tarnished, lose their sheen. Maybe we needed to focus on another aspect of our lives, so the thread of that particular role moves under the tapestry of our lives, no longer seen on the surface presenting the image of our being. Maybe we had to make choices, hard choices, to focus our energy on family, jobs, others, and we left parts of ourselves in the shadows. 

When the glow is lost, egoic small “s” self-voices can deride us. Those voices in our heads that evolved to protect us at some point, now try to mirror our worst fears. Some aspects of our cultural milieu present these misbeliefs to see if we still believe them. Do we believe we’ve lost our shine? We are not as valuable anymore? Maybe we should put that aspect of ourselves on the shelf for good? Or worse, in a box in the garage marked “sterling silver.”  

At any time, we can elect to be the determiners of whether a part of ourselves sparks joy, whether it has value and worth for us now. We, our Soul Self, are the final truth and authority. Those inner and outer voices don’t have to have power over us. But rejecting them without inquiry leads to resistance. And what we resist persists. 

What areas of your life or being would you call tarnished? Is it romantic relationship? Can you peer down the barrel of years without a romantic partner, as in my case, and still believe you have worth, that you can bring love and joy to the adventure of love? Scary, isn’t it? Dusting off portions of our lives for reexamination does not mean you decide to keep a role, or that you have it hold the same contours. The partner appropriate for me now is not the same as when I was in my early twenties, or even later along. The courage to look in the mirror and see my beauty and worth, and step forward on a new path, that is what is calling me now to get out the polishing cloth. 

Maybe, like a beloved friend of mine, Life is calling you to resurrect a past accomplishment in your life and see it from a different lens. You can place the jewel of this part of yourself in the crown of your consciousness, repositioning it to add value and worth to your position in life. In her case, she is a refined world traveler who has offered her gifts of spiritual insight to others on the journey as far away as the hallowed pyramids of Egypt. Now she is in the mid-west, with the opportunity to reclaim that resonance from her past and open to new adventures. Whatever defeats she has experienced adding layers of dust and decay to this elite status of her global travels can be cleared away now, offer new insights into her art and expression and shine brightly from the crown of her being.  


With an open heart and receptive mind, I look within. Those places of my being I have labeled as old, tarnished, defective, outmoded are reexamined now.  I harvest the gold of my own past and authority, asking the Life within me to guide me on the path of integrating these jewels of myself into a new pattern of living. I am so very grateful for all that is me. 
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