Over the last week I have sat through reports of schools feeling that there at breaking point, fears of the NHS being broken if the virus continues to devastate. Alongside images of capitol Hill riots demonstrating that politics is fractured and broken.
We have been so overwhelmed by stories of heartache and anger over the last year through COVID, Black lives matter protest, American politics and Brexit and everything that has been connected with it that it feels as though all of humanity’s and societies crack are no longer able to be hidden.
This brings to mid something that I have inadvertently found myself hearing more and more about over the last few weeks, articles, and podcasts and documentaries seemingly bringing the word to my awareness.
Kintsugi is a Japanese art form that consists of taking broken pieces of pottery and china and repairing them with gold, dust and lacquer. It is a way of turning something damaged into a work of art. By highlighting the cracks, flaws and damage, it raises awareness of the items Brookes and draws attention to it as opposed to papering over the cracks and trying to hide them.
What a beautiful idea, to celebrate brokenness and damage, instead of hiding it. In therapy, the goal is to confront flaws, damage and brokenness and not get rid of it, but to find a way of integrating this into who you are today.
By integrating our brokenness into our lives, we can learn to fully accept who we are and welcome it as a part of our being. Now recognised as a form of Zen Buddhism and celebrated as a philosophical way of life, perhaps as we traverse this world, we too can learn to acknowledge and embrace all aspects of ourselves. A form of healing from within.
People can live their life in regret for past actions and choices that they have made, haunted by mistakes, or living with abuse and trauma, held captive by our own thoughts and ideas about ourselves. It reminds me of John O’Donhue’s book ‘Eternal Echoes’ where he writes about the mental prison being a lonely place because each person locks themselves up inside a demented idea and feeling, and that they have the key to their own freedom. Perhaps this is what Kintsugi celebrates, that instead of keeping those ideas, and feelings locked up, we can can free them and decorate them for all to see to make us firmer, stronger and evermore resilient.