Kintsukuroi ("golden repair"), also known as Kintsugi ("golden joinery"), is the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery by mending the areas of breakage with lacquer dusted or mixed with powdered gold, silver, or platinum.
When a ceramic pot or Bowl would break, the artisan would put the pieces together again using gold (or silver or platinum) lacquer to create something stronger, more beautiful than it was before.
Kintsukuroi is a way of living that embraces every flaw and imperfection. Every crack is part of the history of the object, and it becomes more beautiful, precisely because it had been broken. People are the same way.
Let me tell you this story:
Once upon a time, in the Far East there lived a great emperor, in a magnificent palace, which was stocked with the richest of goods. During Spring, there were royal visits: kings and princes used to gather to admire each other's treasures and exchange beautiful gifts.
The emperor was excited because he had a new bowl to show to his friends, specially made for him by the finest of artisans from the finest of materials. But a few days before the royal visits, he found that the bowl was broken apart into a hundred pieces and he was desperate. He shared his profound sorrow with his son, the prince, and they talked all night.
The next day, the ministers saw that the cabinet of treasures had been broken into, and the pieces of the broken bowl, along with the new golden diadem (appositely made for the investiture of the prince), were gone!
No one knew for sure where the thief had gone, but they saw him running off towards the prince's apartments. There, the door was locked, and everything was quiet. The prince himself was nowhere to be seen.
The day passed. They couldn't find neither the thief or the prince, the prince apartments remained locked, although smoke could be seen coming out of the chimney.
Next morning, when ministers and emperor were ready to welcome the kings and queens, they opened the treasure cabinet to show their possessions and found the precious bowl back in its place, whole again, but glistening with veins of gold where the cracks had been. It was even more beautiful than before! And, next to it, there was the prince's crown: it was smaller, just a slim band now, but beautiful and perfectly executed. A smile of secret understanding passed between the emperor and the son, whose scarred hands showed his hard work.
The bowl, broken and repaired, became even more refined thanks to its "scars". This art teaches that broken objects are not something to hide but to display with pride. Exactly like our souls.
Similarly to the broken bowl, when we are struck by misfortune, adversity, or when we find ourselves living an unsatisfactory life, what we have to do is learn to put our wounds back together again. Pick up the pieces and fix your illusions. What is broken can be put back together again, and when you do, don't hide its fragility because it has become a visible strength.
The essence of this life is to live. Living is not the same as surviving: there is a substantial difference.
When we live, everything is more intense: the colours are brighter, the kisses are more passionate, the food is tastier, and the body vibrates with every emotion.
Living is reserved for the brave, as it involves making decisions, getting out of the comfort zone and seeking growth, actively.
When we live intensely, we take more risks and accept that we are vulnerable and make mistakes. It involves great emotional strength because we will begin to receive pressure and conditioning both from others and from ourselves. Living intensely requires coherence and authenticity because a life of facade is illusory and falls at the first adversity. Living authentically is essential to be happy and to make our children, our family, happy.
Sometimes, when everything we valued and built up over the years falls to pieces, we can see new opportunities and possibilities that we would have never seen if suffering would not have hit us. When we face our fears or illusions, we discover that we are stronger than we imagined, that we could stand and live.
How many women hold onto dead or dying relationships? How many women are unfulfilled in their workplaces? How many women are overwhelmed by career and family juggling? They hold back from stepping away from that toxicity for fear of failing, or for fear of people recognizing the brokenness therein.
Don't stop living because you're afraid of hardship and change. Our soul, like our body, is made to repair itself. The question is: Are you ready to enlighten your life? Are you ready to abandon your fears and walk the path of change to improve your life and be fulfilled and happy?
I answered "Yes!" and started this path. I hope you too find the courage to think out of the box and change.
Kintsugi. (2015, September 28). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 14:28, October 3, 2015, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Kintsugiandoldid=683186968
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