I sometimes think about the Japanese art of Kintsugi where broken pottery is joined back together with gold. It was several years ago when I’d heard of this practice for the first time and it makes me think of the clients I’ve worked with over my career who are their own Kintsugi artists. People who have felt broken in one (or, frequently, many) places in their life. Who take the broken parts of themselves and create something of such beauty…a celebration of rebirth, in a sense. People who do not try to hide their wounds or cover up imperfections. The celebration of the repair becomes even more beautiful than the original “unbroken state.”
I wonder if this is trite or cliché to write about. If so many others have already drafted these connections that this blog will seem silly. But when I think about that, I find that I don’t much care. What a joy it is to find meaningful connections in our lives, even if others have found the same paths before us. Let not your journey be diminished because others are further along their path.
I think about how many of my clients have felt such hopelessness. Utterly broken and worried that they would never have meaningful relationships or find a sense of balance. How they’ve despaired over the loss of sense of self. And I marvel at how, with perseverance, mistakes, setbacks, and care, they reclaim their wholeness. How they become even more complete. Finding things about themselves that they cherish even more than before. How their fractures have even served as a symbol of hope to others…even those who cannot see their own way forward.
And so, I appreciate Kintsugi in a deep way. I appreciate its beauty and its symbolism. I appreciate its celebration of imperfection. I admire how those of you who have endured your own breaking points are still “showing up” for yourselves and for those around you. I see you and I want you to know that you are welcome. That you are to be celebrated. Drink from your imperfect cup. Share your beauty with those around you. You make this world a better place.