In the 15th century, when the favorite tea-bowl of the Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa broke, he sent it to China for repair. It came back held together with unsightly metal staples. The Shogun was very disappointed, and challenged his own Japanese craftsmen to come up with a more pleasing means of repair. The potters decided to fill the cracks with lacquered resin and powdered gold. The same broken cup became a stunning work of art.
We mostly try to repair broken things in a way to conceal the repair, and make it ‘AS GOOD AS NEW’. The tea masters and potters understood that by repairing a broken bowl with the distinctive beauty of radiant gold, they could instead make it ‘BETTER THAN NEW’.
The bowl’s unique fault lines were transformed into little rivers of gold that made it even more special. Now the bowl was uniquely beautiful. A radical physical transformation from BROKEN to NEWLY WHOLE, from USELESS to PRICELESS.
We all get broken, hurt, wounded in some way or the other in life. These are essential ingredients in the journey of life. Some broken relationships, friendships that went awry, some disappointments in our goals, unfulfilled dreams, vulnerable moments, etc. Nobody has ever been able to escape going through them at different points in their life. All that matters is how we choose to conduct ourselves while dealing with them.
Do we get stuck? Or do we allow ourselves to be consumed with anger, hatred, or maybe guilt, self-pity, or martyrdom, or just be in denial that its happening? Whichever route we may choose, end of the day something is broken inside us. We cease to feel whole and complete. There is a sense of lack, a disappointment with ourselves or with the other. The concern is that the cracks may now show. Our image is at stake...
We are focused on making our life AS GOOD AS NEW, but does that happen? Mostly we are busy blaming someone or something for what happened.
Instead if we observe, those are the moments that have invariably made us stronger, more resilient, compassionate, brave, understanding and wiser. They have even pushed us to go into the uncharted waters, and often surprised us with our own abilities.
Moving into gratitude to those experiences allows us to heal ourselves, and see the beauty of those cracks and scars which have now transformed us from feeling BROKEN to NEWLY WHOLE.....