Kintsugi is the Japanese term used to describe the mending of a broken object; using gold to repair the broken or cracked piece. The philosophy behind Kintsugi is that by bringing attention to the broken places, and by mending those places with care and intention, the piece becomes more valuable, transcending what it was before it was broken. There is no attempt to hide the damage, in fact, the broken place is literally illuminated.
I don't know about you, but I'm not too excited about my mistakes and flaws being illuminated. But -those flaws- which are uniquely and obtusely our own, can become opportunities to transcend old wounds and cause new growth.
The paradox here is that being a whole, healthy human means allowing the cracks and mistakes to be there. By acknowledging the brokenness, we allow the pieces to be put back together, and become not only whole again, but more beautiful. Gold fills in and seals the cracked areas. There is room for grace and healing when we accept that we are imperfect and damaged.
In this way we develop and become who we are meant to be. The broken place is a catalyst toward dynamic movement deep within . A place in our spirit that has been stunted at some point and desperately needs to continue it's path forward.
When painting, as the work comes into it's own, it must pass through stages of incompleteness. Stages that are awkward and primitive. Watercolor has an innate ability to do what it wants to do, and there are many times when something unexpected happens that must be integrated into the work. Sometimes successfully, sometimes not. But by pushing through these stages you learn the lessons you were supposed to learn and get your painting to the next level . And it is only at this level where the true beauty is revealed, colors illuminated, shapes and patterns clarified. The revelation could not have happened without the layers of incompleteness, challenges and mistakes underneath.
Those things in ourselves that are ugly, awkward, and sad, even the most devastating hardships and disabilities, are layers of the bigger picture we were created to live. But only if we have the courage to forgive and hope and love. Our broken pieces are waiting to be illuminated to create a whole, new, complete life. Our ugly scars and broken places can truly become the spring that save us from ourselves . It is the place we ask God to enter.
This process of time and integration of our whole selves is much like a birth, forcing the life taking shape at this very moment to develop a new completeness and depth of spirit that could not have happened before. Be courageous enough to own your life, every part of it, especially the dark corners.... shine the light of day on them and become who you were meant to be.
There is a plan. You are loved, and there is always hope.
" The wound is the place where the light enters you" - Rumi
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