Broken or Beautiful
“If you cannot speak your brokenness, your brokenness will speak for you.” ~Peter Rollin
Sometimes I come to this blog with a germ of a thought. Other times my words reflect a slice of life I’ve dissected, reflected upon, and tried to make sense of.
And then there are times when a word will pop into my mind and sort of take up residence for a while.
This week is that kind, and the word is brokenness; we need look no further than the news.
But I had no place to start. So, I went to the thesaurus.
Synonyms for brokenness include unworthiness, spiritual-blindness, human frailty, sinfulness, faithlessness, and deadness.
Um, this was not exactly the track I was looking for.
Maybe antonyms… wholeness, transformation…?
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There is brokenness, and a lot of it, in the world today, and I’ve heard my fair share of stories with my clients over the years as they learn to acknowledge and heal their broken bits.
In my experience, most people wrap their breaks in shame and hope to hide them away from the world—and themselves.
This doesn’t work, not long-term. Without acknowledging our cracks, telling the truth about them—and for some that means admitting they even exist—attempting to mend them becomes a futile endeavour.
Truth: antiseptic for the soul.
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In Japan, broken pottery is often repaired with gold or silver. This is an art called kintsukuroi which accentuates rather than obscures the breaks.
Kintsukuroi reflects the philosophy of kintsugi which embraces flaws and imperfections; the flaw or break itself is regarded as a unique piece of the object’s history, adding to its beauty.
It occurs to me that in our current culture consisting of plastic, planned-obsolescence, toss-and-replace-that-which-is-broken, kintsukuroi —whether bowl or heart—is an art form worth developing.
Maybe, within the brokenness itself hides a potential breakthrough, a work of art, if we chose truth instead of shame to try and mend our broken parts.
Maybe, our broken bits are not only the birthplace of strength and courage, but also of beauty.
Maybe, our truest beauty lives behind the brokenness, just waiting.
Waiting to be repaired with gold glue.
“Beautiful are those whose brokenness gives birth to transformation and wisdom.” ~ John Mark Green