On one side it looks like a craggy rock. It takes someone with a trained eye to know that what lies inside is precious and gorgeous. On my run this morning, I got to thinking about how much of life is like this. Take any situation, any person, any span of time in your life, and you have the rock and the gem side. If you focus too much on the rock, you'll never see or appreciate the jewel that lies beneath. If you relentlessly cling to the gem, you're bound to be disappointed by the rough underside that is inevitably a part of the whole picture. So, what if instead of always circling around the drain of the negative, or being bound and determined to focus purely on the positive, there was instead a place of equanimity? A place where no one belonged on either a pedestal or on Your List, but rather could just be viewed as flawed but beautiful humans, with both scars and shiny pieces, each which must be accepted and appreciated in their own right. A place where a good and bad decisions weren't so... rather just steps taken with the best information you had at the time, steps which have surely led to both the sparkle of the gem and the unbearable roughness of the rock, all of which just belong in a state of being which can be left alone, unanalyzed and accepted, moved forward from and let go of, as part of the natural march of time. In the rush of life, it is so much easier to see things as black and white than to embrace the gray. But what I'm coming to realize is that gray is the new black, and is the key to finding an inner peace that I think many of us seek. No one is right or wrong, no one is good or bad, nothing is permanent or temporary, it all just Is. I can dissect the circumstances of or the people in my life down to the bone, chipping away at that uncut gemstone until it is nothing but dust, or I can take the whole damn rock, turn it in my hands, see the gem and the rough, accept it all, love it, and let it go.