We have been misled to believe that our scars earned through this life are cause for shame, when the truth is, our scars bear witness to our beautiful resilience. Scars are the geography of our ascent.
I have recently read an article about the Japanese art form of Kintsugi, the practice of taking broken pottery and gluing the pieces back together with precious liquid gold or silver. This art form dates back centuries and is steeped in the cultural value of brokenness leading to elevation.
Each piece of humble pottery that has been broken is not only repaired, but it is repaired with precious metals which increase its beauty and value. Because brokenness is unique and not two pieces of pottery break in exactly the same way, they become one of a kind works of art to be shared with pride.
The joining of the fragments that were once separated and then carefully glued back together with gold or silver, become refined in the process, elevating their value and beauty. It’s the pottery’s brokenness that makes it so uniquely lovely and inspiring.
I believe that this is a wonderful metaphor for our own life experiences. Who doesn’t experience the pain of brokenness at times in life? It is a human condition and regardless of where we live, our culture, race, age, gender, or class, as humans this is one of our collective experiences. It brings us together.
Instead of defining brokenness as something to be ashamed of which only steals the joyful experiences life has to offer us as well, we should begin to see it in a whole new way. Like the pottery, we are remade whole again with refining resilience more precious than gold. These scars are our markers, our stories which proclaim, “And yet, I rise”.
We need to look at our scars as the testimony to our resilience, to our deep strength in refusing to let tragedy or pain define our lives. We survived and we are stronger. And if we share the powerful and inspiring stories our scars reveal with others who need encouragement, what could be more beautiful?