Kintsugi or kintsukuroi is a beautiful Japanese practice of taking and repairing broken ceramics with a special lacquer mixed with gold, silver, or platinum. This act shows us that even broken, something can turn out even more beautiful in the end. The same goes for people. Even the most broken of people can find the strength needed to heal themselves. No matter the process or method, you CAN find the strength if you want to.
Deep sadness or grief, the kind that leaves you gasping for breath on the floor, has been my enemy and my companion many times. In my adulthood, my divorce and the subsequent the custody battle were the culprit more times than I could bear. I became broken inside, grieving a child that I wanted to hold closer than anything and the woman I used to be.
Then came my miscarriage in the summer of 2012. The pain…the sheer agony of losing a child that was already so real in my mind. It was debilitating. It all seemed to be too much for one person to be able to cope with. The cracks spread deeper into my psyche, creating physical problems; heart palpitations, muscle spasms that would require medication to correct, and significant weight gain.
It was only after I found out that I was pregnant again, that I began to take measures to help heal myself. One of them was getting out of the toxic environment that active duty had become. The Air Force I had joined was not the Air Force I found myself in. One DD214 later and I started to breath a little deeper. Those pesky medical problems that had plagued me began to alleviate once that toxicity was gone.
I began to feel some solace blossom with the birth of our rainbow baby, N. Some of those cracks within my heart and soul filled. They weren’t entirely healed, not by any means, but those cracks began to shine brightly with the love I felt for our little family. The additions of little M and B were surprises, but helped to fill not only our home with love but also those cracks within me.
Postpartum depression has shown me that even in my darkest moments, my love for my family is my saving grace. Being held close by my best friend and husband, Skype conversations with L, hearing my sweet toddlers tell me “I love you” and “Happy Mother’s Day” (still saying in July I might add), and even seeing little B’s smile when he gazes into my face…all of these things help to me to find my strength. These people love me, broken or whole…I am beautiful to them.
By no means am I truly healed and I doubt any of us will go through life completely whole. I find that life will continue to move onward, causing new cracks and rifts within us as we go along. In finding our strength, we can also ensure that we will always fill those cracks with beautiful healing.
*Photos for this post are found on Kintsugi: The Art of Broken Pieces
To Fearn, thank you so much for being there for me. By comparing me to such a beautiful practice, you helped me to see that my brokenness is something to be proud of instead of something to be ashamed of.