Delicate Arch offers a “gem” of understanding to those who seek it out in the desert. You must climb to reach it. You must experience heat, altitude, and struggle to attain your goal.

As you grew up, you experienced different lessons along your life path. You discovered a hot stove hurt when you touched it. A candle flame caused pain when you passed your finger over it. A rosebush thorn made your finger bleed. A bee sting caused you terrible agony.

From those experiences, you avoided the obvious in your daily meanderings. Marching into your teens you discovered friendship, jealousy and betrayal. Perhaps a bully beat you up or a girlfriend undermined you in your pursuit of a boyfriend. In nature, you learned to run for cover during a lightning storm. When a dog gave chase, you picked up a stick to protect yourself. You learned life lessons either by your parents advising you or you learned the hard way through direct experience.

“Take advantage of a bitter experience… ”

As you moved into your 20s, relationships grew more complicated. Maybe you worked a job with acerbic bosses and cantankerous fellow employees. You discovered many different aspects about how people operate in the world. Along the way, you picked up new understandings and created game plans on how to deal with your circumstances. All the while, you became a better you. But sometimes, you wondered about your choices or predicaments.

I’m reminded of the ancient king who held court each day. He beckoned the local sage for words of wisdom. Each day for a year, the sage brought the king an overly ripe piece of fruit along with a witty statement. When the sage left, the king tossed the fruit into a hole in a pillar, where it fell to the basement untouched.

One day, after the sage gave the king the overly ripe fruit, he turned to exit, but noticed the king tossing the fruit into the pillar. “What are you doing?” asked the sage. “Did you not know I gifted you with a gem in the middle of each piece of fruit?”

The king made an excuse before the sage exited the throne room. Quickly, the king ordered a knave to recapture the fruit. The king cut it open to reveal a valuable gem. He said, “I never knew such beauty could be found inside an aged piece of fruit.”

The king ordered his staff to recover the gems from all the fruit in the basement. The gems of knowledge enlightened him, which allowed him greater understanding. He became a better king for all the people in his realm.

“It’s your challenge to connect with the divine in you.”

The great writer, Thomas Moore, said that every person faces the deadly turpitudes of living: obsessions, addictions, depression, loss of meaning, judging others, violence, anger, hate and prejudice.

It’s your challenge to connect with the divine in you. You might call it the “spiritual” within you. You can choose to identify with your higher self. That quest creates a transformation that leads to better wellbeing and better choices.

When bad things happen to you, decode the experience to see the gem. As you discover the synchronicity of the lesson, take advantage of it. Synchronicity coupled with purpose equals “coincidence.”

Once you step into the “flow” of life, those synchronicities multiply because your energies coordinate with the natural vibrations of the universe.

Engage these talents: walk in the light, walk tall, walk with a song, walk strong, walk wise, walk with hope, walk with joy, walk with purpose and walk with passion. People will notice your demeanor. You will attract them to their own higher self.

Take advantage of a bitter experience, betrayal of a friend, unfair treatment by another, or any of the overly ripe experiences of life. You will find a “gem” in the rotten fruit that will enhance your life beyond all ordinary understanding.

Clouds over Delicate Arch in Arches National Park