Many of us spend a lot of time trying to hide the ways that we’re broken. We hide the wounds we have from our family of origin, we hide the ways we feel stupid or unsure, and we’re always trying to cover up the wrinkles and age marks that reveal that we’ve lived.
You’re probably thinking to yourself, “Of course we do!” And, it’s true that for many people it’s simply too scary to show the world your scars and the glue you’ve used to put yourself together.
So, here’s a little known fact: there is a whole art form focused on drawing the eye to the broken aspect of pottery, and then celebrating it.
Wikipedia describes this art form, Kintsugi, as “the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with lacquer dusted or mixed with powdered gold, silver, or platinum…” Gold, silver, or platinum! That is so unlike what we do with our personal brokenness.
The description goes on to say, “As a philosophy, it treats breakage and repair as part of the history of an object, rather than something to disguise.”
What if our cracks and wounds could be made beautiful, celebrated, and even honored as one of the many things that helped us to become our current self?
As we say this, we’re not asking you to celebrate trauma, abuse, or the losses that you have experienced, but we are suggesting that the ways you’ve learned to move through those traumas and the ways you found strength through adversity are worth celebrating.
Take a few minutes this week to think about the places where you feel broken and what it would look like to you if you celebrated the ways in which you put yourself back together.
And, if you’re able, consider how you’d show up in the world if you deeply honored and respected the ways you had repaired yourself. Imagine how much taller you would stand if you thought of yourself as heroic, brave, and tenacious!
We’ve been doing this work for several decades and this is what we know:
Fame, wealth, status… none of those things make a difference—we all have wounds. Hiding your scars can keep you isolated and can make you think that you alone are broken.
If you find yourself still lost in your wounds, it may be necessary to find a professional coach, therapist, or clergy member who can support you as you grieve what you lost when you were broken, and then support you in celebrating how you put yourself together.
We see your strength,
Your Coaches and Allies at Carpenter Smith Consulting
Image by Harayagato, used under a CC 4.0 license.