Grace In Brokenness
“Where there is brokenness there is an abundance of grace.”
It is no secret, I am a perfectionist and have been this way since I was young. It is part of my DNA and how I was created. The positive side to my personality is that I have created a company that produces excellence. The difficult side of my perfectionism, is that it is impossible for me to keep things that are imperfect or broken.
Then I read about a Japanese style art called Kintsugi. Kintsugi, meaning “golden joinery," is the practice of repairing what is broken by using gold. When you repair something with gold, you are not hiding the broken cracks, but rather emphasizing that they are a part of that object’s story. You are taking an ordinary piece of pottery and turning it into a beautiful work of art that is now more valuable than it was before it broke into pieces.
Kintsugi not only applies to pottery, but it is a way of life in Japan. The philosophy Wabi Sabi is a Japanese way of living a “Perfectly Imperfect Life.” Perfectionism can cause a lot of stress and anxiety for those of us who want everything in life to go as planned. It is also really hard for those around us who struggle to meet our nearly impossible standards. However, when you embrace a wabi sabi philosophy, you can see that there is beauty in the imperfect, and there is grace in the broken moments of everyday life.
Brokenness happens to all of us. Just like a broken object, you cannot control how or where the cracks will form. One moment we are living life, and then we get that phone call. The call that says a loved one has died. Or, the call that tells us we have an illness that requires us to fight to stay alive. Sometimes we lose the hopes and dreams we have been holding on to. Sometimes we live with a regret that has changed the course of our lives. Sometimes, for no apparent reason at all, we sink into a deep sadness that feels impossible to crawl out of. Those moments leave us cracked and broken. Those are the times we cannot see how we will ever be the same again.
Kintsugi teaches that we will not be the same again, but we do not need to hide the brokenness. When the crack has healed, we are stronger, more beautiful, and now have a story to share. When we embrace brokenness rather than hide it, we become far more valuable than when we first started. Are you embracing the cracks in your life? Do you see the grace that can come from brokenness? I encourage you to remember that you are worth repairing and that you can always find gold in every piece of your story.
Broken Glass Cake by Sandy Henderson
A colorful dessert to remind you that brokenness can also be delicious!
3 oz. each of Orange, Cherry, Lemon and Lime Jell-O 4 C. Boiling Water 1 1/2 C. Cold Water 1/4 C. Sugar 16-18 Ladyfingers, split 1/2 C. Pineapple Juice 2 C. Whipping Cream
Directions: Prepare the orange, cherry, and lime Jell -O using 1 C. boiling water and 1/2 C. cold water for each. Pour each flavor into an 8-inch square pan. Chill until firm or overnight. Combine lemon Jell-O and sugar and 1 C. remaining boiling water, stir well until the Jell-O and sugar are dissolved. Stir in pineapple juice. Chill until slightly thickened. Meanwhile, line a 9-inch spring form pan with the ladyfingers. Cut the firm Jell-O's into 1/2-inch cubes. Prepare whipped topping and blend with lemon Jell-O. Fold in gel cubes. Pour into pan. Chill at least 5 hours or overnight. Run knife or spatula between the sides of the cake and the pan. Remove sides of pan before serving.
Found in our cookbook, One-Hundred Sweets by Wren & Willow
This video shows how true Japanese Kintsugi is done. As you can see it is quite a process, and sometimes can take up to a year for the piece to be fully repaired. It is said that the act of restoring a broken piece can be cathartic and healing for the Kintsugi artist. The healing process is slow, but worth it, just like in our own lives when we heal from brokenness.
This framed quote and Kintsugi bowl is a perfect addition to any home as a reminder to embrace brokenness.
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