She carries a pearl
In perfect condition
What once was hurt
What once was friction
What left a mark
No longer stings
Because grace makes beauty
Out of ugly things

                                   – Grace, U2

I sway between hope and despair hourly. I wish I was a consistent person. I wish I was positive ALL THE TIME. But I feel glum quite often. I’m a glass half empty girl trapped in the body of a girl who desperately wants to feel half full.

Trying to mend my life is not a quick sewing job. It’s not as simple as replacing a button here or there. It’s a giant quilt with lots of holes in it. I need new panels of material. I need new stuffing in parts.

We all have pain. My life seems to be marked by it a lot lately. I’m constantly trying to transform all that pain into something beautiful.

When life throws you challenges you have two options. You can let the ugly things build up like a snowball, letting it pick up more dirt and mud as it goes along. Until eventually it’s a mass of pain that loses all purpose. And it’s so big that it can crush other people.

Or you can take those rough sands and refine them. Smooth them over and shine them into pearls.

I wish I was better at the latter.

Maybe despairing is what you become when you’ve been crushed too much. When I confronted my own mortality 9 years ago, it changed me. I’ve never been the same. I came so close to death that it scared me. And scarred me.

I’ve been trying to live a meaningful life since. Making better choices. Dealing with challenges as best I can. But I sink faster than most. I don’t have that resilience to glide through life like I used to. It takes enormous effort and courage to be positive. I feel things intensely. I get battered around.

I’m constantly reminded of grace. Grace to forgive myself for not being perfect. For failing as often as I do. For understanding what I’ve been through.

You know that feeling when you’ve used your creativity to make something beautiful? There’s nothing like it. It’s healing. My creativity with words is what saves me. It’s my grace. It’s how I turn ugly things into beauty.

The more we heal, the more goodness we see. The more we heal, the more beautiful we become.

I want to carry less snowballs. More pearls.



  1. says


    I was just reading a book about encouraging young children to draw, how children should have lots of opportunities to use drawing as a learning tool. That they should “draw to learn” rather than “learn to draw”. It’s about getting them to see the small detail in something, a flower or a car engine, it’s about looking at life closely, drawing it, figuring it out. I think that’s what makes life meaningful and it seems to me to be something you do. Your words seek out the tiny detail, they seek to figure things out. And feeling positive is not all it’s cracked up to be.

    • Deb says

      Oh thanks, Kirri. Believe it or not I started writing this post a few months back when things felt worse. In the last weeks the cloud has lifted somewhat. I am feeling so much hope. xx

  2. Debyl1 says

    Oh Deb your words are not only your grace but the grace for many of us who visit here.
    Your words reached deep into my heart and I feel so much inside.
    I get it.I feel it.
    I have never been the same since mum was diagnosed with breast cancer and I had to watch her suffer.Because it was many years ago people don’t understand how it can still be so painful to me.She was my mum,scared and in pain and I felt so helpless.
    Somethings just scar us so deep and it is hard work to find the beauty in things,to make the pearls or to find the courage to be positive.
    Thankyou for your beautiful words….the more we heal the more beautiful we become.
    Such positive words of strength I will remember.xx

    • Deb says

      Debbie, your comments touch me more than you’ll ever know. Thank you. I’m so sorry to hear about your mum. Of course that is scarring – it’s heartbreaking to watch our loved ones in pain. And that feeling of helplessness – oh dear, I hear you. Yep, some scars are so deep. There are some days that I wonder if there is beauty in things – it’s hard to see, but eventually we see them. Lots of love to you. xx

  3. says

    Deb, you are such a feeling person. I get that. Some of us are thinner skinned than others and need constant reminding to see the sun more often than the clouds. Clouds can be beautiful by the way, as are your words, even when they’re sad. Sometimes I feel as though writing an emo post will help me get things out, but then I think who’d want to read that- I’ll only scare people off… I never, ever think that when I read you. xxxx

    • Deb says

      Twitchy – thank you! I often wonder about my emo posts… sometimes they scare me off! Or make me feel so vulnerable that I instantly delete them. Loved what you said about clouds – lovely image. xx

    • Deb says

      Thanks for popping in, Katherine. And thank you for your lovely comment! I’m glad Naomi has ‘introduced’ us. Looking forward to more of your blog too. xx

    • Deb says

      Yes, and since writing this (most of it was written months/weeks ago) – I am feeling so much better about where this crazy life is going. 😉

  4. says

    Oh, Deb. So, so very moving. I’m sorry to hear that you’re still feeling so much pain and sorrow. I truly believe those pearls are waiting for you. You will find them. Don’t give up hope. In the meantime, keep allowing yourself to go through the journey. Be kind to yourself.
    Thinking of you and sending you hugs xxx
    Grace recently posted..FYBF – #FYBFXmasParty Highlights…were you there?My Profile

    • Deb says

      Thanks Grace. I am actually *okay*… I’m not emo all the time, but if you didn’t know me (and you do) and you just read my posts one might think so! Thanks for your kind, encouraging words. I have lots of hope! xxx

    • Deb says

      Thank you Rita! I agree. Though some days it feels like I’ve lost resilience. I’ve grown, but still feel less resilient if that’s possible.

  5. Veronica @ Mixed Gems says

    I’ve been thinking of you in and off, Deb. Sorry to hear things have been dark for a little while. Grace is such a beautiful, powerful and liberating word. It is what we all need to give ourselves and receive in order to get up when we fall, brush off the dirt and keep trying. I keep saying I’m a “work in progress” and “that’s okay”. From where I used to be years ago, beating myself up emotionally for every perceived failure, I guess this is a sort of grace I’ve been learning to give myself. I don’t mean to trivialise anything you sre desling with. I know I’ve not stared death in the face as you have so my personal challenges are not the same. I just hope you know I truly wish you well, and happiness, and peace of heart.
    Veronica @ Mixed Gems recently posted..The tension in motherhoodMy Profile

    • Deb says

      Such a lovely thoughtful comment, Veronica – and I’m most grateful for it. I know that I relate to so many of your insights and feelings that you write about too. I hope you continue to give yourself grace – we are works in progress and we are “okay” – lovely way to think about it. xx

  6. says

    You are an amazing writer Deb, and if anything tells me you can handle anything that comes your way, it’s the skill and strength in your writing. Your mind is powerful and beautiful and I know you’ll create and carry more pearls than snowballs.
    Carly Findlay recently posted..Balding.My Profile

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