Gems…NOT Costume Jewelry – A Look at Authenticity

14611533479171574704512In last week’s blog post, I talked about being a gem in terms of knowing your worth and realizing that you are a quality product created by God for a purpose. Continuing on with the “Gems…NOT Costume Jewelry” blog series, let’s examine authenticity. One of the criteria for fine jewelry is based on “the authenticity of the stones set into the pieces.” This means the stones have to be real, pure, genuine…follow me?

A real diamond doesn’t seek to be a ruby. A genuine pearl has no need to be an emerald. All of those stones in their true state are valuable, and a buyer will pay a hefty price to own them. Notice, I said in their TRUE state. You see, a cubic zirconia can hope and wish all day to be as brilliant as a diamond, but the reality of a cubic zirconia is that it isn’t the real thing. No amount of mining will yield you a cubic zirconia. No amount of money will give cubic zirconia the same value over time. It just isn’t a diamond. If rubies aren’t your thing, the ruby won’t cease to be a pure gem because you don’t prefer such a stone. It won’t try to change to green because they would be accepted as an emerald. It isn’t natural. I’m going somewhere with this, and here it is… Be-Yourself1

Every gem has qualities that make them unique, and you can’t take that away from them. It doesn’t matter if those you want to accept you don’t. They may not be the crowd for you. They may not be the client for you. They may not be the mate for you. They may not be the friend for you. Anything or anyone who puts you in a position that you feel the need to put on a one-woman or one-man show featuring many different characters probably isn’t the company you need to be keeping. I’m not speaking of making life changes in response to self-awareness, revelation and growth. I’m talking about flat out being somebody else…period.

I’m a writer (obviously), social media manager, educator and speaker. I come with a myriad of gifts and talents within those realms. Of course, I’m not the only person who does all or one of these things, but I am the only VYCE who does them. No one can do me; of that, I’m 200% sure. The question becomes do you want what Vyce has to offer or not. If it’s “not,” no love lost, but what I won’t do is compromise my authenticity to become something or someone else to appease you. What God has for me is set up just for me. Have you ever thought that maybe you delayed your blessing because God had it for you but couldn’t find you because you were in deep undercover posing as someone else? Think about it. While you were being fake costume jewelry and shutting down the light of the gem you are, your “manna” was being held up. Ouch is all I can muster.

I was in deep undercover when it came to my purpose. Because I knew it but didn’t own it, I walked away from my purpose trying to go an easier route only to be miserable somewhere I didn’t belong. I launched a business not owning my purpose, so things sounded forced or contrived and not authentic. Now, I have a clarity that pushes me into revamping a few things that speak to my passions and my calling – not what I was trying to be and ready to run away from because it just didn’t seem right. wallpaper

Sometimes, others either can’t or won’t see the rare find of a gem because they’ve been blinded by the bling of diamond-LIKE stones. It’s ok. A sapphire is still a sapphire in the display case or on your finger, wrist, ear or neck. Cheapening yourself to costume jewelry so you’ll be accepted makes you shiny, but FAKE. The right buyer finally came into Jared’s looking for you, a real gem, and you hid in Claire’s?! You lost out trying to be something you’re not when you were brilliant all the time in your own right. Just be you!

Actors rehearse for hours, months, and years perfecting a role for a film or stage production. They get on stage and embody a character. Often times, they get asked in interviews how close is that character to their real personality. Many of us have perfected the real life character we play each and every day. We could earn an Oscar, Emmy, and Tony. Shoot, Milli Vanilli won a grammy, being someone else! I ask you how close is the character you play to the real you? Sometimes in costume jewelry, there might very well be an authentic stone in the setting, but its value is decreased because of the counterfeits around it. The genuine gem will bring light on its own; just get rid of the counterfeits. All the extra stuff isn’t necessary.
Theday235re is a peace that comes with just being yourself. You don’t have to keep a running record of who you were yesterday because you are the same every day. No, maybe not in the same bubbly mood all the time, but still you. No one has to take bets on who will show up on any given day. A gem is showing up every day. No need to be an imposter on your own life. The world doesn’t need another object taking on a gem persona. It needs a real, genuine, bona fide, original and precious stone. It needs you and only YOU can fill that void. Authenticity – wear costume jewelry; don’t be it.

Gems…NOT Costume Jewelry – Let’s Talk Quality

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I did a Google search on the difference between gems (fine jewelry) and costume jewelry. Part of eBay’s definition stated, “The difference between fine jewelry and costume jewelry is the quality of the metal used in the jewelry and the authenticity of the stones set into the pieces.” It goes on to explain some other criteria that I’ll address in another blog post, but for this one, I want to zero in on quality. It is my prayer that you read it with the question, “Am I a gem or costume jewelry?” in mind and be ready to answer it. Are you gold or gold plated? Are you a diamond or glass? Are you platinum or nickel? Think about it and walk with me through this discovery.

For most of my life, I’ve always thrived on the validation of others. If people didn’t like what I did or what I said or where I was going with my life, then I must be headed in the wrong direction. My never ending quest to please people was on! Perfectionism will eat away at your peace; please, believe it. Even though I had the appearance of shininess, I was trapped in a locket of self-doubt, fear, insecurity, and uncertainty of purpose. Knowing that I’m God’s child and that alone makes me qualified to be quality wasn’t an easy revelation to come to. I’m blogging on quality…

***Own Your Value***

God is excellent, and He creates excellence. If He created you, then you are excellent – fearfully and wonderfully made! Your life is a hot commodity, not to be taken lightly because blood was shed for it. When my pastor talked about this in the message, it was an “aha” moment for me. Of course, I know Jesus died on the cross for my sins but I never equated that to my value. More on value as it relates to gems vs costume jewelry…

Costume jewelry puts on a shine fest for others but the moment those others don’t respond to their fluorescence, they’re ready to run and quit. Costume jewelry allows others to use them until every bit of energy you have is gone and they still want more because you feel if you have the “backing” of someone you put on a pedestal, then you’ve arrived. Costume jewelry has no value. Remember, God creates excellence, and if we were made in His image, then costume jewelry we are NOT!

30426b2022ab209498361730fd89ab66We have something to offer this world whether it be through our careers, daily walk, businesses, organizations, campaigns, and causes. What we have can only be delivered through us. That’s important my friends! So what if there’s another car salesman who sells hundreds of cars. So what if the teacher next door is national board certified. So what
if there’s another photographer within the same area you work in. The way you sell a car, teach students and take pictures is the way YOU do it, and it’s valuable to somebody. You own your value.

In the world of business, don’t allow people to diminish your value by trying to get something for nothing. If you want to perform services out of the kindness of your heart, then that’s your choice, but no one should expect, obligate or guilt you into doing free work. It’s amazing to me how some folk sing your praises until there’s a fee for your services. The song hits a flat note and the chords aren’t in perfect harmony. All of sudden, your stellar work is just ok. Now, they wanna see who else can do the same thing. In these instances, that costume jewelry mindset will try to rear its head. Doubt will set in. Thoughts of, “Maybe, I’m not good enough to make a business out of this. What was I thinking? No one will want what I have to offer.” This negative self-talk will turn the gem you started out as into costume jewelry really fast. Sometimes your closest friends and even family won’t see the value of what you do because it’s you, but don’t take it personally. They may not be your target market, and sometimes they eventfully come around. Their value meter of you doesn’t negate the value meter you have for yourself. Don’t waiver in owning your entrepreneurial or career choice worth. The right people will see it and run to write that check or get you to the people who are ready to move forward with you on their team.

From a personal standpoint, life is something. You’re going along, minding your own business, not bothering a soul, and then just like a pounding headache, pain and anguish come to visit you – completely unannounced and uninvited. Life’s circumstances will make you feel like costume jewelry – worthless, thrown around, popped, if lost no one cares kind of stuff. I don’t know what’s going on in your life. Maybe you’re dealing with sickness, relationships issues, being passed over for career opportunities, past hurts, abuse, guilt, depression or any other situation that eats away at your self-worth. I’ve been there. Some days, I AM there, but what I know is that I’m worth it every day God gives me life, it’s worth living. That’s it – period. I know my purpose and I’m not going to let “they” or “me” detour me. On the days, I don’t believe it, I pray and keep saying it. Ephesians 2:10 says I am His workmanship…GOD’S workmanship. I’m not worthless and unwanted. I’m GOD’S workmanship, and as stated previously, He creates excellence!

9be832f5682a49c2f96a4c49b08a0df2Real gold and silver will tarnish a little over time, but it doesn’t make them any less real. It doesn’t lessen their quality. All you do is clean it, and it’s good as the day you purchased it. When it’s fake, you have to be careful because the metal-like substance can rub off altogether leaving you with something that you don’t want to wear or present to anyone. Are you following me here? Even though you may get dealt a bad hand over time, you are still just as valuable as pure gold or silver. You’re more valuable and of greater quality. You may feel tarnished and worn, but a “clean” with a new perspective, positive thoughts, fresh ideas, and strategies. “Clean” with people who love you and truly have your back. “Clean” with the love of God and stand on His promise. “Clean” knowing that under all the “tarnish” there’s still a valuable being. Be blessed…

YOU ARE NOT COSTUME JEWELRY! Wear it; don’t be it.