Golden pearls are a rare, deep gold colored gem resulting from irritation of a foreign substance inside a living oyster. They are often referred to as a 24k golden pearl and grow in the South Sea of Indonesia.
Because Golden Pearls are so rare, they provide an excellent metaphor for transcendence, and relates to the experiences and lessons shared in the book written by our recent guests Dr. Allen Lycka and Harriet Tinka.
It was delightful to hear their individual stories, and I was inspired with a desire to possess the 13 pearls they teach of.
In 2003, Dr. Allen Lycka heard a neurologist say: “You have Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), and you have six months to live. Get your affairs in order.”
One late evening, Harriet Tinka walked into the elevator in her college dorm building when someone grabbed her neck from behind.
“You thought you could escape me?”
Harriet recognized the voice. It was the stalker who had managed to walk into the secured building, despite the restraining order she had filed against him.
Harriet was kidnapped, stabbed, and left for dead.
First, I reacted with anger. How could this be? I was only 52 years old. I was at the peak of my career, my life. How could this be? I was too young to die. It was so unfair.
I plunged harder into my work. If I were going to die, I’d have something to show for it at the end. I then became depressed. I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t eat. My work began to suffer.
For the first time, I thought of suicide. I bargained with God. “I will do anything if you don’t let me die”. I became angry. I was in denial.
It is true that when your life is near the end, you begin to see things more clearly. You begin to see patterns, things you could never see otherwise. You reach out. So, I began a journey– a journey to find my true diagnosis. I wasn’t going down without a fight. And I did not accept I had ALS and was going to die.
The courts gave my abuser only three months in jail. I was outraged with the judge’s decision to give him such a lenient sentence for attempted murder.
I fell into a deep depression. I would cry silently, with no one to help. I was an embarrassment and failure to everyone in my life.
Determined to end my life, I bought a bottle of sleeping pills, took them, and went to sleep. I woke up disoriented. Trying to end my life was another failure.
Then I met Amber in the hospital. A drunk driver ran a red light and struck their vehicle with such force that it instantly killed both her parents.
Amber would be confined to a wheelchair for the rest of her life. She was motherless, fatherless, and homeless. Yet, she was full of joy and happiness. I asked her why she exuded joy after enduring such a tragedy.
She looked at me with a sincere smile and whispered, ‘I am lucky to be alive. Now here’s a challenge for you – you are alive too. Why don’t you use your experience to make a difference in your world?’
You’ll have to read their book to learn how Dr. Lycka and Harriet Tinka regained their love for life. However, I will share a few of their GOLDEN PEARLS.
“Hopes are more powerful than despair. Joy always triumphs over sorrow.”Dr. Allen Lycka
“Be “the inspiration” for someone else.”Harriet Tinka
#5: Intention (Purpose)
“Ikigai (生き甲斐, pronounced [ikiɡai]) is a Japanese concept that means “a reason for being.”Harriet Tinka
“Forgiveness is a conscious, deliberate decision to release feelings of resentment or vengeance toward a person or group who has harmed you, regardless of whether they deserve your forgiveness.”Harriet Tinka
“An onion can make people cry but there’s never been a vegetable that can make people laugh.”Will Rogers
Their book is not something you read only once. Dr. Lycka suggests that you must read it again and again. My suggestion for you is to simply read it, and enjoy it…