The Japanese practise the art of fixing broken objects. They say that things that break don’t necessarily become useless. No, instead something that suffered a damage has a history! And by showing the scars it can become (even more) beautiful! Isn’t that just a lovely way to look at things? The mending of broken pieces with gold or other lacquers is the art of Kintsugi.
But how about we use the same thought when it comes to us? Instead of hiding when, why, where we feel broken we can be more open about it. And by showing and sharing our damaged parts we can become more beautiful, stronger, inspired, motivated?
We’ll all fall down. There will be times when life leaves us feeling broken. But it’s how we reflect on it, how/if we learn from it that can make or break us. Do we choose to hide or get out there despite being and feeling broken?
However, we have to keep in mind that not every damage is the same. There is a difference if something got a crack, broke into bigger pieces or shattered apart completely like small scattered glass.
And in the same way that it takes time and focus to patch up a broken object with gold, the personal healing takes time too. It can be a painful, lonely, frustrating, self-doubting path.
Yes, same as many of you out there I’ve been broken throughout my life. Too early deaths of dear friends, fall-outs, judgements, loneliness, injuries, betrayal, misunderstandings, job-loss, unexpected moves,…just to name a few.
Those experiences had me struggle, stumble, fall deep. Some had me doubt myself over and over again and others let me feel utterly broken, shattered.
But each time, in a different way, I somehow put myself together again. Sometimes faster, sometimes the process took longer (years).
- Some damages had me lose and doubt myself.
- Some damages left me overly cautious, reserved.
- Some damages let me change my outlook on life.
- Some damages inspired me to take action.
A crack is often easier to fix. A clearing conversation might be all that was needed. And even when something broke into bigger and large pieces we might be able to put it back together easily, too. It can become almost like before. Or the ‘scars’ created something different that’s even stronger.
And if the bigger pieces don’t fit right now, but we think it’s worth keeping them? Then we might want to keep them “stored away” for a while. Sometimes fixing takes time. We need more time and space to reflect on what we have so that we can decide if we can and want to create something new.
The toughest process often lies in the damages that let us fall into small pieces, the shattered glass. The pieces are too many, too small. And putting them together again would not make it hold. But even then we have a choice. We can decide if we want to discard the pieces or if it’s worth a try to keep the pieces to create something entirely new one day.
Whether mended or discarded, do we allow ourselves to embrace that there is a true beauty, honesty and authenticity when something seems imperfect? Being imperfectly perfect, showing our scars, our history is something that makes us unique! And anyway – who is to tell us what’s perfect and what not? It’s all in the eye of the beholder, isn’t it?
But – no matter what, whether we feel that something cracked, broke or scattered, at the end, it is up to each one of us. It’s our own choice if, and if yes in what way, we will use the broken pieces.
I hope you find your ease, wherever you are,