Value is in the Eye of the Beholder

Compassionate Love: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness  (c)2013 Nancy Virden 

020It’s unusual. Yes, that is the term I will use now that I know its value. When I first saw it I thought it was the ugliest piece of jewelry I’d ever seen.

To me it looked it looked like a craft project, a pin slapped together with mismatched rhinestones. No wonder it was in a thrift store. 

Now I call the pin a brooch.

One year later I returned to the store and noticed it was still there. Contrary to my taste,  I found it fascinating. Who would make something like this?  I bought it intending to use it as gag gift.

It stayed on my dresser for weeks. Finally, this past weekend I turned it over and discovered a name hand-stamped into the dark gold frame. Michal Negrin.

She is a jewelry maker from Israel who personally designs each piece bearing her name. Yes, this pin is handmade, but by the hands of an artist, not someone toying with crafts. A Google search revealed her pieces generally go for about $200. I had paid $1. 

Suddenly it became an inspirational piece that expresses adventure and a no-rules attitude. Instead of mismatched, it is creative. No gag gift here, in fact, maybe I’ll wear it.

Seriously? Value is in the eyes of the beholder.

I’ve been afraid to face a crowd and tell them of my emotions and struggles. I’d rather hide in my apartment. Fact is, I will be judged; everyone is.

A variety and hopefully minority of people will disapprove of any and all the following: my size, gender, faith, and mental health history. Some will believe I  reveal too much or not share enough, think too hard, or not think things through.  My books will be critiqued along with public speaking skills. It will happen, has already, and there is no way to stop it.

I have plowed through many life challenges and stuck to what I know to be right regardless of other people’s opinions. I can do it again. Realness and openness is a better way; it is what I want. Will some miss the point?  To them my mission is nothing but mismatched rhinestones glued together by an amateur. 

However, my Creator is an artist. He has personally designed me, put His name on me, and proudly displays me to the world.  In His eyes I am a valuable and one-of-a-kind masterpiece. He says I am worth His life.  Why would I allow anyone else to stamp me with a thrift store price?

Value is in the eyes of the beholder. Some people are blind in the soul and do not recognize the creativity and inspiration that is us. With more discerning eyes, we can see God’s priceless handiwork.

*****

NOTE: I am not a trained or licensed mental health professional. I am not a doctor. I speak only from my experiences with and observations of mental illness. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental health care.

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