I was intrigued to explore the meaning of the word treasure a few days ago. I was exploring it in the context of what I treasure, rather than in the sense of precious metals or hidden hordes.
I was interested to note the definition of treasure as ‘to keep carefully.’ It really resonated with my experience both of treasuring, and of being treasured by those I love. There is a way we can be with each other where we keep our loved ones, our relationships, and our own selves with care. Where we are thoughtful, kind, considerate and accommodating, both of our own needs and of those of the other, and our wider family and community.
I’m not sure you can truly treasure someone else without first treasuring yourself. Holding our own shadows and darkness with a light, honouring touch enables us to also see other people in their totality, as a whole person, with their warts, foibles and failings.
When we treasure, we treasure it all. The brokenness, the vulnerability, the strengths, the talents, the things we share and the things we just don’t get. We keep carefully a sense of the wholeness in front of us, and we respond to it with love and humility. Nothing is left out, nothing is left behind.
So, keep yourself carefully. Go kindly, and walk a mile in the shoes of the parts of yourself you would rather cast out or hide. They may just teach you how to fully live.