Putting Ourselves back together with Kintsugi
When we talk about self care and daily affirmations, we are often met with an eye roll and a list of excuses. Between my busy work and home life, I don’t have the time or energy to spend on drawing a bubble bath or buying floral facemasks that only feels good for all of 10 minutes after it’s washed off. I’ve felt this way for a long time, searching for different escapes and ways to hide my imperfections- especially as a therapist. Yes, we struggle with our mental health too.
Many believe that the only therapy available is conventional talk therapy. Wrong. If you haven’t been to a rage room before, it worth googling one near you. I’m not saying talk therapy doesn’t work. But imagine showing a random piece of furniture what you’re made of… with a baseball bat. Letting go of all those pent up emotions in a safe, controlled environment can be life changing.
Now, imagine throwing a stack of brand new ceramic bowls at the wall. What happens to that bowl? Just like those bowls, being broken feels sharp: it’s the stabbing pain in the back of your throat just before you cry, it’s the pounding headache after drinking too much the night before, it’s the full body aches after a panic attack. And just like ceramic when it shatters, we feel like we have lost who we were. We all have a story that is being written, broken or not. We can work towards finding what pieces are broken in order to fill in the cracks of our broken vessel.
Kintsugi is an ancient form of Japanese art focused on repair. The artist is invited to repair a broken object with a gold powder, emphasizing the scars rather than trying to conceal them. This form of art therapy reminds you that your scars, whether visible or invisible, are proof that you can overcome your difficulties.
The process of breaking an object, and fitting all the pieces back together with gold is way more intimate and healing than most would think. I’m not a puzzle kind of person, I don’t have the time or patience. But putting all the different sized pieces together can be time consuming and symbolic to what emotionally and physically healing is like. As a path of evolution, consider that your wound is initiatory, and change it slowly and patiently in gold.
"I am beautiful."