Kintsugi–A Philosophy for Life
I was chatting with a friend about our apparent moments of brokenness. About how when nothing seems like it will ever be repaired, we start to mend, becoming even more beautiful than before. This is when the topic of Kintsugi came up. Kintsugi is the Japanese art of putting broken pottery pieces back together with gold—a metaphor for embracing your flaws and imperfections.
Looking at life with this perspective: what if instead of covering our scars, we embrace them for the story they tell. They are part of our journey in this life that adds to the depth of who we are. Kintsugi is a term that is closely related to Wabi-sabi—which means to embrace and accept your imperfections. So instead of aligning the pieces of broken pottery back together, it focuses on embracing and accepting ourselves, just as you are now.
So, how can you apply this concept to your life today? How can you take what you feel is broken and find acceptance, or even beauty? I’m a believer that things happen for a reason. And sometimes, we must go through the hurt to see the beauty in life.
Applying Kintsugi to Your Life
An object can be perfect, pristine, and beautiful. When it falls and breaks you either repair it or throw it out. Would you get rid of yourself because you were seemingly broken into pieces?
I think the answer is no. You would fix what was broken and find a way to place the pieces back together again no matter how much work it may be. You do this with an extra level of depth. The gold in this case are tools to heal, mending your pain, allowing you to become whole again. You become even more beautiful than you initially were. You have evolved and experienced. You have reached a whole new level of beauty—added a whole new chapter to our story with this beautiful layer of depth and complexity.
As you grow and begin to learn, you may fall in your pursuit to master a new skill—like when you fall when learning to ride a bike. Your physical body can bear the remains of your battle scars. Emotional wounds, like a broken heart or the loss of a loved one, don't reflect a physical wound, yet we don’t forget because of the impact they have left on us. All of these examples are a part of what makes life, life. Life that cannot be erased, but must be accepted and embraced. Finding the calm and mindset that allows this, can feel unnatural at first, especially if you have emotions to sort and process through yet. But it’s the process of putting the pieces back together. You pick up the scattered pieces and put them (yourself) back together—coming back to yourself, more beautiful and experienced than who you were before.
This article was written and contributed by:
Wellness Practitioner, Reiki Master, and Hairdresser
Natalia is an energy healing hairdresser who discovered Reiki at 19, where her two worlds of hairdressing and Reiki would merge. After a chronic illness diagnosis changed the course of her career, she rediscovered Reiki and become a level 2 practitioner in 2020. She has since then gone on to become a Master Reiki Practitioner in March 2021. Her goal is to help all those in need through her energy work and life lessons where she believes and knows her stories can heal and inspire others.