Do you know about the Japanese practice of kintsugi?
The most beautiful way I have heard it described is "the art of precious scars."
It is the custom of putting a broken thing back together with gold--filling in the cracks with a valuable material, thus demonstrating that these scars increase the item's worth.
How does that make you feel?
Would you do that for a broken thing that you valued?
Do you regard your own scars with the same reverence?
I bristle a bit when I hear folks say, "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger," or "God wouldn't give you more than you could handle." Those platitudes only serve to minimize and silver-line things that are hard. I don't subscribe to the belief that life is meant to feel like a pressure cooker. And I don't believe it is our place to give or take meaning away from the experiences of others.
I do believe that we may not know our own fortitude until it is put to the test. And I do believe that the challenges we face, the things that may crack us and create deep scars, bring with them opportunities to discover beauty, grace and profound connection.
To experience suffering is to know a greater depth of human experience. I feel deep gratitude for the losses and challenges I have encountered. I can see very clearly (now) how those events have broken me open and made me more available, more able to connect with and support others in their time of need, whether their struggles are similar to mine or not.
Please understand...I did not/do not feel this way in the midst of the hard stuff. Being broken hurts! Putting oneself back together takes time. And we can never return to the shape we were before the fall.
I am learning to be ok with that. I am learning that this new iteration of life, where I have a bounty of scars, cracks and wounds is a richer, more complicated, and yes, more beautiful version of life than I could have imagined.
Talk to me about your experience with this. What parts of you have been mended with gold?
I see you shining.