8 June 2023
Reading time: 2:21 minutes

Eight years ago my life shattered into pieces.

I went from quite a successful manager into an unemployed, broke, and homeless guy within the span of a few weeks. I made a few decisions that helped the situation worsen, like quitting my job and moving across the country after a breakup.

Knowing what I know now, I would have handled it differently at that time. But that's the curse of the now. You act in the situation with the knowledge and abilities you have then, not with hindsight you will gain over the next years.

I will not go into all the details. It should suffice, that I was broken to the point of trying to end my life.

But God had other plans for me and I was stopped. It took another five years for me to once again feel whole. The cracks remain, but now they are filled with gold of wisdom and deep understanding. It reminds me of the Kintsugi.

Kintsugi is another part of wabi-sabi. It's an age-old form of art. The masters of Kintsugi take broken objects and join the shreds back together with gold. It makes the broken object even more valuable.

Think of an old bowl or mug that fell onto the floor and broke down or cracked.

What would you do? Pick up the pieces and throw them into the trash? Wabi-sabi teaches us that everything and everyone gains value through its use. All the things it went through give it value and create its soul.

So they take the pieces of broken pottery and glue them back together with liquid gold. That is Kintsugi.

Kintsugi reminds us that broken things have great beauty because scars tell a story. They demonstrate fortitude, wisdom, and resilience, earned over time. Why hide these imperfections? The gold poured into the cracks creates golden scars. They are shown out because they are nothing to be ashamed of. They are meant to be celebrated.
Just like I was eight years ago, you too will go through times when you will be broken. There will be events that will leave you with emotional or physical scars. Do not hide them in the shadows. Instead, fill them up with gold of wisdom. Let them become the value you add to this world.

Because what you learned during those crushing times may someday inspire someone else to conquer their days of terror and nightmare.

Your failures are teachers, showing you how not to do things. Your mistakes help you to understand the importance of forgiveness. Your wrinkles remind you of the laughs that caused them.

Embrace the concept of Kintsugi. Broken objects are not to be hidden. They are to be displayed with pride. It frees you from that image of perfection. Instead, you will replace it with a new concept. The entirety of you.

The good, the bad, and the ugly. It all makes you who you are.

And if you search your soul, you can take it one step further. When you learn how to glue yourself back together with the gold of love and acceptance, it will make you more accepting and more understanding towards others too. You will see broken pieces in the people around you.

When you do, instead of smashing them further with the club of judgement, offer them the liquid gold of love and acceptance to glue them together.

Because you can. You've been through it. You know how to do it.

That's what makes you special.

Till next week ​

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