The struggles will become your story, And that's the beauty of Kintsugi.
Your cracks can become the most beautiful part of you.
Have you ever heard of Kintsugi? It means “to join with gold.” It is a fascinating Japanese art where bowls are repaired with gold. So, you will see these magnificent bowls with, what looks like cracks in them, filled with gold. I feel like it is truly an artistic representation that we can become more beautiful despite our imperfections.
Have you ever felt imperfect? Maybe even felt unworthy because of your imperfections? We are tossed around in the washing machine of society, constantly searching for perfection. We are bombarded by images that are photo shopped, Facebook posts that often disguise reality, and all too often we are told that once things are broken or damaged, we should quickly replace or discard them. Wearing this negative lens about imperfections invites shame, sadness, helplessness and overwhelm.
I love looking at little ones while they are in all their glory, oblivious to the things they do wrong and mistakes they make. Never are they worrying about being judged or feeling broken or imperfect for the fact that they fell while trying to take a step.
If somebody were to ask me on the other hand, I would not need to think about it for more than a second to recall my imperfections, my mistakes, and my failings. Unfortunately, as we get older our brain tends to master the card catalog of events and qualities about ourselves identifying each, and every mistake we’ve ever made and all of the imperfections we believe others see in us. Ahhhh, I see you nodding! We are all in this together I see. I’m finally getting to a place in life where I’m learning to embrace these imperfections of mine.
It’s taken what seems like a lifetime to learn that my mistakes, all of our mistakes are actually the golden threads. If not for the mistakes, I would’ve missed so many lessons along the journey of my life so far! There were jobs that I had where I felt unsatisfied and literally broken down. Clearly the jobs did not serve me. Having the jobs was not the error though, it was staying when I knew I should have left. Once I moved on from one of these jobs, I would look back and only then could I see the beauty in the lessons. You only know what you want sometimes from being in a situation you don’t want to be in.
I was married when I was 23 years old. I had all of the hopes and dreams that every young woman walking into a marriage would have. So, when I felt the relationship breakdown and collapse and when I finally made the decision to dissolve the marriage 21 years later, it nearly broke me. There was shame and guilt attached to being the first person in my family to have failed at marriage.
It took a while for self repair, and to recognize that even from things that appear broken there are lessons and gold in those cracks as I was put back together. It seems that from every mistake that I’ve ever made not only has there been a lesson, but more often than not, amazing opportunities followed! Sitting with the discomfort and sitting in the stillness, allows us to see not only singular lessons but the greater picture. I, for one, feel in every single way that I’m a better woman BECAUSE of what I once would have called errors and imperfections.
Like Kintsugi, I was able to pick up the pieces, put myself back together and fully embrace all of my golden threads and cracks. Some of us may have physical scars. Others may have emotional scars. Many of us have both. As I ponder Kintsugi and my own imperfections, it is a wonderful reminder to me to not only accept my own flaws but to appreciate, honor, and celebrate the imperfections of others as well!
Have a amazing week and remember to look at your reflection. May you know that you are even more beautiful, valuable and stronger for what you have gone through. Embrace your golden cracks!