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“We’re stronger in the places that we’ve been broken” ~ Ernest Hemingway
Idling my time away on a lazy Sunday afternoon, I came across a term called Kintsugi: the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery, and it just stuck with me.
The word consists of two terms: Kin means golden and Tsugi means joinery. Literally, it means to “join with gold.”
In Japanese culture, whenever something breaks, they repair it by reassembling it and gluing it together with golden powder. They make no attempts to disguise what’s broken or damaged. They deliberately highlight the broken parts, the cracks that symbolize the history of the object.
What if we all treated ourselves the same? Celebrated and showed our cracks instead of hiding them or wishing them away?
What if we joined ourselves with our own gold—our pain and suffering that eventually shines and highlights our courage, strength, and wisdom that emerges out of that?
What if we could make Kintsugi a part of our own internal and external existence—never having to hide our pain, but it put us together as a reminder of who we are and how far we’ve come?
We are inherently broken. We grow from brokenness. The body itself builds after tearing its muscles down. We are constantly growing through a state of brokenness. Why not celebrate it?
There is no perfection. Only inherent brokenness—wear and tear; destruction and rebuilding—that’s what life is all about, isn’t it?
Why not let the pain shine? After all, every crack paves the way for some light.
Why not celebrate our sorrows and embrace our pains?
We are fallible. Vulnerable and strong. Right and wrong.
We get stuck and then move forward.
We grow and outgrow.
We are made of anguish and agony, and that’s what makes us human.
When we break, that’s when we get a chance to piece ourselves together in a different way.
Why not add a little golden to ourselves to celebrate what broke us and made us stronger?
What taught us to be more of ourselves and less of what was expected of us?
What brought us closer to who we were meant to be—every step of the way?
In the journey of life, what matters is how many times we are able to piece ourselves together every time something broke us and how beautifully we transformed into a more authentic us from our brokenness.
What matters is that every time, we glittered—like gold.
Every time, our pain glittered like gold and made us—us.
Broken, yet strong.
Cracked, yet beautiful.
So how do we celebrate our brokenness? Do we shout it from the rooftops or wear it on our sleeves? Do we talk about it endlessly?
No. We embrace it within ourselves. We sit with it, hug it, cry it out, let it flow.
We allow ourselves to breathe through our cracks. Then, slowly we let it transform us.
We allow ourselves to shed the cloak of supposed expectations and come into our own.
And then we break again. We crack some more, only to shine again.
Our pain is the gold that binds us to who we are and who we will be.
In Kintsugi, every finished piece is different because nothing ever breaks the same.