Gold in its purest form is soft.
It becomes harder, stronger, and more durable when infused with other alloyed metals.
And though harder, stronger, and more durable it remains adulterated.
To achieve its purest and most natural state, gold must be refined.
The refining process is long and tedious. It is requires precision and skill, and requires a highly skilled worker to meticulously carry out the task.
To refine gold, heat must be applied to force the impurities to the surface. As the impurities rise, they are removed. Once removed, more heat is applied. And so continues the process. Heat is applied and reapplied. Applied and reapplied. Applied and reapplied, until the gold is finally made pure. The refiner knows the precious metal is pure when he can look into it and see his reflection, clear.
I love everything about this refinement process- the complexity, precision, time, effort, and skill. The experience and attentiveness of the trade master. It has helped me to better understand my own refinement process; how and why under the heat and pressure of life’s trials and tribulations, I’ve become more of myself. I used to think, sometimes even hope, I’d be transformed into a newer, improved version of myself. But I was wrong, I haven’t been made better nor have I transformed into someone different. No, indeed, I have not. Instead, I have only become more fully and completely who I’ve always been. The woman I was always intended to be. The person I have always been at my core, under all the muck. Under all the pain and disappointment. Beyond the imperfections and shortcomings. Beyond the brokenness and fear. I am still me. Only now, I can see how I am becoming a fully, purely, more wholly me. And, you know what- I really, really, like me.