Welcome to a new contributor to the series today. Author J. Hope Suis and in her first post she describes the beautiful Japanese process of repairing broken items of pottery with liquid gold or silver. They retain their original shape but now have added beauty because of being fractured.
When The Flaw Becomes The Beauty by J. Hope Suis
In today’s Western society we put a high value on new, pristine items. We have no shame in removing and replacing damaged or broken objects from our lives, whether they are tangible ornaments or shattered people. Value is assigned and increased if there are no visible signs of flaws. And we have it all wrong.
The Japanese hold a much greater appreciation for the overall beauty and history of an object and go to great lengths to preserve it.
More examples can be found https://www.pinterest.ie/matsumotoyasuo/kintsugior-kanetukuroi/
Kintsugi is the 500-year-old Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with liquid gold or silver. The name literally means ‘golden joinery’ and the philosophy behind it believes the cracks or breaks are part of the history and journey of the object and something to be treasured and not disguised or discarded. In fact, the repair is literally highlighted with the precious metals and now becomes the focal point of the beautiful piece.
Muneaki Shimode is the youngest professional Kintsugi craftsman in Japan and at the age of 27 here are his words.. “in Japanese culture, it’s very important that we understand the spiritual backgrounds or the history behind the material. This is interwoven with the philosophy of wabi-sabi, which means “to find beauties in broken things or old things.”
Kintsugi puts emphasis not on the replacement, but on the reverence of the original piece and all its history. The gold is about much more than appearance, it is about the admiration and awe of the journey.
What can we learn from this time-honored and intricate process? Oh, my dear friends, I hope a lot.
How many ‘broken’ people do you know, with shattered lives or dreams? How often do we ourselves feel fractured and believe we have nothing whole and worthwhile left to present the world? We cannot allow our disposable society to dictate how we view our lives and our personal worth. Life will knock us down for sure. These knocks take the form of mistakes we have made, misguided decisions, or even the consequences of another’s choice that made its way to our doorstep. Illness and disease can also cause scars; physically and emotionally. We do not make it very far down our life’s road before we start collecting cracks until one day we wake up and discover we are left standing, trying to hold together the fragments with sheer grit and fear.
So what can we do? How do we put the pieces back together to form a work of art even more beautiful than before? What precious metals do we use?
Acceptance and Understanding are two good ones to start with. One is for yourself, and the other is for your neighbor. We need to accept and own our own cracks. We need to embrace that the challenges we have faced, good or bad, have left an impression. That last crack you were convinced would be the final shattering break is actually the cornerstone for the new work of art that you are becoming. How exciting and promising is that thought! Then, once you learn to accept the flaws in your life, extend a little understanding for the blemishes in others. This is much easier when those do not directly affect you, but regardless, we are all on this path together. Encourage someone today. Uplift them with words of hope and remind them how totally unique and valuable they are. Your understanding and support of them may be the first coat of restorative sealant in their hearts.
Forgiveness is the next step in reworking your life’s design. Acceptance only acknowledges the breaks occurred, but forgiveness rounds out the sharp edges and takes away the sting. It opens your heart to the welcoming warmth of the healing process. Find a way to let go of the guilt and regret. Make amends or correct your course, but always forgive yourself. Forgiveness of others also aids in your healing. The act of forgiveness is not about a gift bestowed on another, it is a gift to you to move on. The one being forgiven may also benefit, but it is meant to be a cleansing for your soul.
Finally, Love is the most precious ‘metal’ of all. The lowest points in my life were guided and pushed along with the unfailing love of a few very precious people; both family and friends. We should never turn away from those who value and advance us even if we feel ugly and shattered. Their love will help restore our luster and worth. And when you pour love into the cracks and broken pieces of another’s heart it forms a protective and exquisite seal.
The beauty here is that love does not even have to be familiar. Here is what I mean….
I have a wonderfully sweet friend who has gone through some fairly serious cracks in her own life recently. But instead of folding and packing away her pieces, she is moving forward with them radiantly on display and paying it forward. She recently shared an encounter she had with a young homeless man. Most people (I included, sadly) would have looked the other way, made a judgment or not even given thought at all, but not her. She recognized the pain she saw in his eyes and set about to pour some precious ‘metal’ into his broken life. She wasn’t naïve or foolish, but very direct and focused in her words and actions. It shamed me for never having the courage or insight to do what she did. But my point is, she did not have to know him or ever see him again to pour love into him and make a difference. I know beyond all certainty that she impacted his life in far-reaching and marvelous ways. She created a Kintsugi moment for this young man.
No one piece of ‘life’s pottery’ looks the same and that is the magic and wonder of it all. My hope is, after reading this; you will have a greater appreciation for the events in your life that you thought had broken you. I hope you understand that these battle scars are unique only to you and create a one of kind artistic display of your courage and resilience, that you are still valuable with purpose and contribution. May the precious metals of acceptance, forgiveness, and love weave a golden thread of peace and joy into your heart.
Here’s to your very own Life’s Kintsugi Masterpiece!
Hope With Abandon
©J. Hope Suis
About J. Hope Suis
J. Hope Suis is an inspirational writer and relationship expert with over 20 years of experience in single-parenting, dating, relationships, with a phrase she coined as “Solitary Refinement”, which is simply a season of being single to grow and develop as an individual. Her new book, Mid-Life Joyride, is a light-hearted yet meaningful collection of stories, advice and encouragement from her experiences.
Her passion in life is Hope Boulevard, which is a blog and website focused on uplifting and challenging her readers to live their best life now. She is a strong advocate for mid-life issues and committed to the idea of sharing ‘hope’. In addition to her blog, she also wrote a weekly newspaper column entitled; “A Single Thought”. J. Hope currently writes for divorcemag.com, divorcedmoms.com, has a platform on onmogul.com and has been cited in national magazines including the Chicago Tribune and Reader’s Digest. She believes it is never too late to pursue a dream or achieve a goal and always encourages her followers to Hope With Abandon.
J. Hope Suis celebrated her brand new release published on 24th October…Mid-Life Joyride: Love in the Single Lane by J. Hope Suis
Mid-Life Joyride is the ultimate user’s manual for mid-life relationships. Being single in mid-life is not usually where many SIMs (Single In Mid-Life) expected to wind up. In Mid-Life Joyride, J. Hope Suis takes SIMs on an incredible and often humorous journey from how they ended up here (widowed, divorced, or never married) to learning to love again. With a lighthearted yet meaningful collection of stories, advice, and encouragement from both personal and anecdotal experiences, she provides insightful navigational tools for every SIM including:
* Entering the dating cyber highway, creating your profile, and recognizing red flags
* Dating etiquette as a SIM (who now pays for the date and what not to wear.)
* Developing and maintaining new relationships and when to walk away
* Learning and discovering how to love yourself FIRST
* Sexcapades of today’s boomers
Mid-Life Joyride is a manual for SIMs as they discover (and own) their current situation and explore the possibility of new roads to travel and paths to pursue. With a personal RPS – Relationship Positioning System – Suis guides hearts towards personal happiness in a relationship whether it be a long term-term monogamous commitment, marriage or even being content staying single. Buckle up and laugh your way through an adventure to being the best version of YOU.
An excerpt from the Prequel
Excerpt from Prologue: As a society, we have become obsessed with directions and never getting lost. Every Smartphone we buy and almost every new car on the market has a built-in GPS. There are apps that talk to you, map your route, pick out your food stops, rest stops, and even sightseeing stops. You can plug in any destination throughout most of the world and immediately know your arrival time (by plane, train, or automobile) if you left right now! We have an abundance of navigational tools at our disposal to get us from point A to point B. What many of us are sorely lacking in, however, is instruction on how to navigate the personal relationships in our lives, our love lives in particular.
Before I go any further, I want to make one thing VERY clear. It is not my goal, nor is it my suggestion, that to be happy we must be in a marriage/dating relationship. Far from it. I think finding love is a beautiful thing, and if it happens to you (or me), I’m all in favor, but please know the most important relationship you will ever be in is the one with YOURSELF! By the time the last page is read, I want you to walk away believing you are capable of giving and receiving love, but also with the full knowledge that you are an amazing, strong, worthy and complete person just the way you are, with a precious heart and a beautiful future. We only have this one life and it goes by so quickly. We should all do our best to make it a wonderful JOYride!
An early review for the book
Loved this book! The author is easy to follow, sharing great insight, tips and advice for “mature” singles like me. Her use of analogies is delightful and dead on! You will find yourself chuckling at her humor and shaking your head in agreement, with the trials, tribulations and adventures of a SIM! I definitely recommend this book!
Head over and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Mid-Life-Joyride-Love-Single-Lane/dp/0999479903
Connect to J.Hope Suis
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