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Every year instead of making a New Year’s resolution, I choose one word. One word to focus on for the new year, one word that speaks to where I am and where I want to be. One word to light the path ahead.

This year’s word is Clarity. Defined as “clearness or lucidity as to perception or understanding; freedom from indistinctness or ambiguity.”

Clarity is also used when describing diamonds: diamond clarity refers to the absence of inclusions and blemishes. But here’s the thing about diamonds: they didn’t start out as diamonds. According to geology.com, “Geologists believe that the diamonds in all of Earth’s commercial diamond deposits were formed in the mantle and delivered to the surface by deep-source volcanic eruptions. These eruptions produce the kimberlite and lamproite pipesThe formation of natural diamonds requires very high temperatures and pressures.

Natural diamonds are the result of carbon exposed to tremendous heat and pressure deep in the earth. This process can result in a variety of internal characteristics called ‘inclusions’ and external characteristics called ‘blemishes.’

Diamonds don’t become diamonds easily. Volcanos, pressure, shifting tectonic plates, extreme heat: It takes a lot to make a diamond. I’ve felt my life shifting in recent days. I’ve felt the pressure. And I want to believe that at the end, all of these extremes will make a diamond out of me. It requires me to let go and trust the process. It requires me to be patient and it asks me to remember that this isn’t forever. I won’t be crushed completely, as I fear. I won’t burn up in the heat. And… while I wait here deep in the earth, I look forward to emerging into the light again. Fear wants to pull back and stay simply dirt. But clarity? Clarity calls me to “let go in my heart, let go in my head, and feel it now.” Even when the feels are scary.

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