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When your heart is shattered - Japanese art of Kintsugi


When your heart is shattered and only thing you can do is to helplessly stare at those shattered pieces on the floor of a dark and lonely room, just be. Just let yourself stay there for a little while, I know it’s painful.

It is the best place you can be in the moment, just to stay with those shattered pieces and the feeling of helplessness. Stay with it and fully take it in. If taking it in fully is too painful, just sit next to it as if you would sit with your close friend.

The time will eventually come. The time you are ready to pick them up, one by one. You might be hesitant to pick up those pieces with sharp edges. There might be pieces that are too small to pick up. No problem.

There is a form of Japanese art called Kintsugi (or Kintsukuroi). Here is a little description from Wikipedia.

“Kintsugi (金継ぎ, きんつぎ, "golden joinery"), also known as Kintsukuroi (金繕い, きんつくろい, "golden repair"), is the Japanese art of repairing a broken pottery with lacquer dusted or mixed with powdered gold, silver, or platinum, a method similar to the maki-e technique. As a philosophy, it treats breakage and repair as part of the history of an object, rather than something to disguise.”

This technique brings a whole new life to a broken pottery. It’s a ceremony for renewal and even bringing the pottery into a different level, with more beauty and strength.

I believe each one of us has a tool/technique to bring our shattered hearts back to whole once again, with additional beauty and strength. It may not look exactly the same as before. But it’s beauty and strength come from the way we faced that shattered-ness. In this process, we are not hiding our scars, because these scars are where the beauty and the strength come from.

It might be easy if we simply sweep these shattered pieces away, pretend they never existed or it’s not our problem any more. Yes, that may be appropriate time to time. However, these pieces we pretend not to see won’t just disappear and we know that. Sharp edges of these hidden pieces can hurt us, even years after the event of shattering. If that’s the case, why don’t we draw our attention inward and see if we can bring this tool/technique to renew shattered pieces into a whole once again.

It all starts at simply being present with these shattered pieces. It’s okay to feel helpless about it. The time will come. We grow our resilience from here, from this moment.

*Image Source: Tea Bowl fixed in the Kintsugi method available via the public domain. Retrieved from Wikimedia 14:35, October 3, 2015

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