Kintsugi

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.
— Leonard Cohen

Whether or not we unsubscribe from the idea that we must be perfect and have our lives in pristine condition, this trap is bound to show up for us in one way or another. For me, the desire to be perfect is usually related to my home, my relationships, my work... and maybe my appearance (as my partner usually teases me about ironing even my yoga clothes). It makes sense because these parts of my life are all really important to me and I put a lot of my blood, sweat and tears into them.
The truth, though, is that my life is often messier than I prefer, and the things that happen are sometimes for better and sometimes for worse. When that is the case, there is a practice of accepting and adjusting course that I try to do. I have to abandon the idea that some situation should have resembled a pretty wrapped package or accomplishment. I have to let my life experiences break me down and then I have to rebuild myself up. If I can't do that, I feel overwhelmed, resentful, envious, disappointed and lacking- which is okay, but also generally not what I want to fuel. I don't want to keep up with the version of my life that seemed more ideal, I want to live in and share the one I've got. The one that has been shattered and that I've repaired. That's what I'm proud of.
There are so many people I know whose losses and misfortunes, trials and tribulations make them interesting, strong and incredibly brave to me. I'm in awe of what they have been through and how they have worked it out. It's like watching a production about the human condition that is so painstakingly beautiful because it's a true story. I'm honored when they open up about the times they've fucked up, been heartbroken, felt devastated, and climbed their way out. Just the other day at our Inner Child workshop, I cried while sharing and afterwards, a friend of mine told me how refreshing it was to see. He said it was like watching Daft Punk take off their masks.

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Because that's where the magic is. In our actual story and in the ways that we respond to it with bold love and fierce understanding. When we embrace and mend our broken pieces, it shows just how special and resilient we truly are.
There is a wonderful metaphor I recently heard of related to the art of Kintsugi. Have you heard this term before? It literally means golden joining and it's the Japanese practice of lacquering golden paint over cracks in bowls and vases instead of throwing them away or hiding the damage.

Applied to us, it's a way of integrating our own brokenness into a new and more exciting version of ourselves. Of letting our lives be the wild endeavors they may very well be and emphasizing all the twists and turns; owning them, with pride. Making something more exquisite out of the ruins than the original structure itself. How appealing is that?
When it comes down to it, this is our way. This is what we were meant to do.
How would you feel if it was beautiful and impressive to have gone through hard times well as opposed to just "a good job coping?" What life experiences would you color golden paint all over and show off to the world?
In the words of Oriah...

It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shrivelled and closed from fear of further pain.

I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it, or fade it, or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own; if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, be realistic, remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself. If you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul. If you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty even when it is not pretty every day. And if you can source your own life from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand at the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, ‘Yes.’

It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone and do what needs to be done to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the centre of the fire with me and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.
— Oriah

Always remember I love you and all your golden cracks,

Alysa