Since the beginning of time, craftsmen and artists have used gold and diamonds to fabricate stunning jewelry, decorate buildings, create artwork and even to adorn furniture. Even during biblical times, gold and silver and all precious jewels were part of God’s creation and the tapestry of the landscape He created ("You were in Eden, the garden of God; Every precious stone was your covering: The ruby, the topaz and the diamond; The beryl, the onyx and the jasper; The lapis lazuli, the turquoise and the emerald; And the gold, the workmanship of your settings and sockets, Was in you. On the day that you were created- They were prepared.” Ezekiel 28:11-13).
Miners and gemologists and the like have been mining and appraising precious jewels for centuries. Both gold and diamonds are difficult to mine and require skilled tradesmen to hone and create treasures from raw materials. Both are used in industry and manufacturing. In my research here’s what I learned: Gold is a chemical element and can be found nearly everywhere on the planet. Pure gold is very soft. Natural diamonds are created when carbon is subjected to extreme pressure over millions of years. Both are very precious materials. Both are materials that are already precious in their natural state, as rough diamonds or gold ore. Refinement only adds limited amounts of additional value. BOOM! There it is.
Yep…there it is! Refinement only adds limited amounts of additional value. You already have everything within you to be great. God gave it to you at birth. Make up, jewelry, outer garments, handbags, shoes, weaves, etc. add limited value because you are great and worthy with or without those refinements.
This is where the Mentor comes in. Mentorship is like mining for gold but finding diamonds. Both are precious metals but like the diamond which requires extended amounts of pressure and time to be refined and polished, the diamond holds its worth better! The value of a diamond is in the eye of the beholder. Many times the woman we mentor does not see the greatness within them that we see. The relationship between and mentor and mentee is one of molding and shaping the gifts that God has given the mentee through the special relationship and connection shared. There will be moments and seasons where the mentee is under pressure or experiencing stress and will need the wisdom of the mentor to guide her through without falling…or at least falling softly.
Mentorship is a special relationship with a set intention for each person to share their stories and narratives and learn from each other. Believe it or not, the mentorship can be a two way street. Young women may need to be refined and taught but certainly they teach us through there life experiences how to be humble and compassionate especially when life has not been kind to her.
This year I have had the privilege to be called mentor by beautiful young women from ages 14 to 35 years old and I have enjoyed the relationship that is being cultivated. Some know their worth, some are discovering their worth and value as women created with purpose and destiny.
I have benefited from mentors in my life whether they were in the form of a group or one to one. I often sought out mentors for guidance: some were a fit, others were not.
Because I believe in the ministry of mentoring and the value it adds to not just the young woman herself, but also to her family and her community, I chose to nurture those special relationships and to encourage women whenever I go.
Diamonds are forever. They cannot be drained of history. When you break up a diamond — you cannot add diamonds — the pieces have less value than the whole. Therefore, the mentoring relationship must be protected. Women with fragile egos and who have been hurt in relationships in the past will not find it easy to trust. Mentors can create a corrective emotional experience or can further damage that ego by re-creating a familiar past.
It should be our personal responsibility as wise women to teach younger women how to navigate and negotiate this life journey. Actually it’s a biblical mandate (Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. (Titus 2:3-5). What good is it for us to experience hardship and hard lessons and to not share that wisdom with another woman to help her avoid that same trap we fell prey to. What we go through in this life is not just for us or about us; it is about pouring into another woman life all the jewels and wisdom nuggets we glean along the way.
Are you ready to answer the call? 5 Important Keys to Being a Mentor of Excellence
Check your heart space for any burden you carry or block that would prevent you from being a mentor of integrity and honor. Young women are often in vulnerable and insecure positions. They will need strong wise women who will not compromise on their values for the sake of approval from others.
Can you make the commitment? Mentorship typically can begin with a year commitment though lifetime. I still connect and call on my mentors although to a much less degree and our relationship may be more collegial nonetheless the level of respect and reverence for their wisdom and knowledge remains.
Practice mindfulness. It is a gift to be a mentor. You might have been handpicked by the mentee and thus you need to be fully present and attentive to your relationship with your mentee.
Assess your capacity to be a mentor. Capacity is the ability to hold and contain all the emotion and energy a mentee brings to the relationship. Capacity refers to your cup not being empty and not having the energy or motivation to pour into other women.
Do you need training and/or mentor for yourself? Yes, there are training programs to teach people how to be great mentors, how to recognize strongholds in their life that may impact one’s ability to be a better mentor.
I am hopeful than many more women will consider becoming a mentor to other young women. In the world in which we live we need wise women more than ever.
If you are a women age 18 years old through 28 years old, considering registering for the Women’s Empowerment Group One –Day Coaching Intensive in October 2016. Stay connected to my website and FB page for more details to follow. This one day will cover 5 core areas: faith, fitness, fashion/image, entrepreneurship, and sisterhood.