Rose Quartz and Superpowers

“Sister!” The stranger runs to me. Embracing me tightly with tears in her eyes and playa dust caking her toffee skin, she pulls back with a fierce look into my face. “I could feel your spirit even before you opened your mouth. And then when you did, I was so moved. I found myself crying with you.”

I smile awkwardly, at a complete loss for a reply. I’m not used to people seeing me so clearly. I feel exposed, like I’ve been caught in the shower on live TV. Luckily, she continues, taking my hand and slowly exchanging the contents of her palm to mine.

“This is you.” She says, “I was told to gift these both to you.”

I look down in my hands and find two prism shaped stones, each about an inch and a half long, and in a light pink hue.

“So, I was just going to gift just one of these to someone today, but I have to give them both to you.” Her eyes shine with certainty.

“What? I can’t take them both!” I protest, but even so, find myself stroking the cotton candy pink surface. “They’re pretty,” I whisper. Wispy white clouds lovingly dance inside the hard translucent stone.

“They’re yours, its rose quartz. The universe wants you to have them. It’s the stone of the heart. And you have a huge heart.” She nods. “That’s why you feel pain so deeply. But it means you can feel love deeply, too. And make others feel. It’s your superpower.”

I swallow hard, but the lump in my throat will not be still. Hot tears spill down my face, rewetting an already damp cheek. I have got to stop crying today, I think to myself wryly, or I’m going to get dehydrated. Is this the fifth or sixth time in the last 18 hours? Is there some type of competition for the most time spent crying at Burning Man? I might be a strong contender. I breathe out deeply and embrace my new friend.

We hold each other silently. I close my eyes and just feel myself being held in love by someone who just witnessed me speaking my absolute truth.

I was here, at Burning Man, in a desperate attempt to save my life. Severe depression and anxiety. They really should rename them Walking Emotional Death part 1 and 2. All I knew was that for over a decade, I had been hating myself from the inside, like a rotting pomegranate, seed by seed, section by section. It had spiraled beyond my control. I was having panic attacks and vomiting episodes at my workplace. I could barely look myself in the mirror. I woke up daily thinking about how badly I didn’t want to be at all, anymore.

And so I came here, to this self expression festival, at the begging of my best friend. And I thought, what the hell, I’ll try it. I’ll actually really and truly try, just to shut him up.

But that gag was, Burning Man actually did it. Flipping me inside out and upside down, scooping out my broken innards and showing me that I am still, and always have been the sweetest of fruits.

I came to the workshop, “I’m Black and on the Playa” and talked about being a minority in America who finds themselves at Burning Man, in the way minority. With only .8% black people attending the festival, I looked around the group of 40 or so brown faces and scattering of pale skinned allies, and felt a deep kinship that I felt deep within my spine. Near the end of the workshop, I found myself standing up after thinking, “I don’t want to hold myself back from them”. Yes, for the first time in ever, I willingly volunteered myself to speak in front of strangers and reveal my heart.

I told the group with a slightly shaking voice that I had come here to make a change. That I wasn’t even sure that change was possible, that I thought all I could be was the person I had always been, a person who felt there was something deeply wrong with her. But now, I told them, I felt differently inside my body. Now, I felt like the ongoing war was coming to a cease fire. I told them how a photographer found me riding around and said she had to take photos of my beautiful smile, and the thing was, I didn’t even realize I was smiling.

My face was beaming in a mirror of my heart. I didn’t think it was possible, but I was falling deeply in love with myself. And everyone could see it.

“Thank you,” I tell her when we finally separate. “These are beautiful. And I love pink.”

“Of course. It’s seriously my pleasure.” She squeezes my arm and turns away, heads towards her bike, and rides off into the windy desert.

I will later look up rose quarts and find that it carries energies of compassion, peace, healing, and comfort. That it dissolves emotional wounds, fears, and resentments, and circulates a divine loving energy throughout the entire aura. It connects with the imagination, and can stimulate art and writing. It increases the wearer’s ability to give true love to oneself and others.

Rose quartz is the perfect stone for me in every way. I will turn the two stones into earrings and they will become one of my most prized possessions and luck charms. It remains one of the most perfect gifts I’ve ever been given, and from a stranger who only met me once.

And I don’t even know her name.

But I’m eternally grateful.

One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.