“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.