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  • Writer's pictureCaitlin Lagnese

Kintsugi: The Art of Embracing Imperfections and Finding Beauty in Brokenness


The other day when I was cleaning out some old drawers I discovered a huge binder of old essays and poems. Among them was a college essay on the Japanese practice of Kintsugi that I had written for my Asian Studies class. As I read through the Kintsugi essay, it instantly transported me back to when I first explored this fascinating topic. The timing of this rediscovery couldn't have been more perfect.


Lately, I've been working on a deeply personal piece about trauma, which has been both challenging and rewarding. One of the aspects I enjoy most about the writing process is how it transports me to a different dimension, allowing me to experience a multitude of emotions simultaneously. It's truly magical and therapeutic.


As I continued to look through this old binder, I came across some cringe-worthy poems I had written over two decades ago. Reading them, along with revisiting my Kintsugi essay, I found myself transported to a different time entirely. I experienced a flood of emotions, some of which were entirely new to me. At that moment, it became clear that finding this binder was no coincidence. It felt as if some divine intervention had guided me to this rediscovery, reminding me of the paths I had walked and the growth I had undergone.


To celebrate the discovery of this old binder, we will delve into the fascinating art of Kintsugi today. And who knows, maybe next week we can have a good laugh as we revisit some of my angsty poems from the early 2000s!


 

In a world that often celebrates perfection, the ancient Japanese art of Kintsugi offers a refreshing perspective. Kintsugi is a form of Japanese art where you put broken pottery pieces back together with gold. The repaired object becomes a unique piece of art, with the golden seams highlighting the history and resilience of the broken piece. It teaches us to embrace our own imperfections and scars, recognizing that they are a part of our story. It encourages us to appreciate the beauty of the imperfect and to find value in the process of healing and transformation.


The Philosophy of Kintsugi:

Kintsugi acknowledges and appreciates the beauty of imperfection. Instead of disguising or discarding broken objects, Kintsugi embraces their history and transforms them into something even more valuable.


The Art of Repair:

The Process: To repair a broken object using Kintsugi, the cracks are filled with a mixture of resin and either gold or silver powder. The resulting lines become an integral part of the object's story, highlighting its journey and resilience.


Symbolism: The repaired object becomes a visual metaphor for life's many trials and tribulations. The golden lines represent the scars we accumulate through our experiences, reminding us that our brokenness can be a source of strength and beauty.



I want to highlight ➡️ The golden lines represent the scars we accumulate through our experiences, reminding us that our brokenness can be a source of strength and beauty.

Recently, I was reflecting on this very blog and how I transformed my own pain into a source of support for others. While it might be tempting to conceal our personal struggles, I strongly believe that it is empowering to realize that we are not alone in our challenges. ReelChat was never intended to be a one-sided blog solely focused on my own experiences. Instead, my goal was to foster a sense of community where each of us could openly share our stories and support one another.


Life Lessons from Kintsugi:

Embracing Imperfections: Kintsugi teaches us to embrace our imperfections, both physical and emotional. It reminds us that our flaws and past mistakes are an essential part of who we are and should be celebrated rather than hidden.


Resilience and Growth: Just as the broken pottery is repaired and made whole again, Kintsugi reminds us of our own ability to heal and grow stronger from adversity. It encourages us to view setbacks as opportunities for personal transformation.


Finding Beauty in Brokenness: Kintsugi challenges our conventional notions of beauty by showing us that brokenness can be aesthetically pleasing. It encourages us to see the unique character and beauty that emerges from embracing our imperfections.



Applying Kintsugi to Life:

Self-Acceptance: Kintsugi inspires us to accept ourselves fully, including our flaws and past mistakes. Instead of striving for perfection, we can learn to love ourselves as we are, knowing that our brokenness is an integral part of our journey.


⬆️ It is absolutely vital that we fully embrace our imperfections instead of striving to eradicate everything that defines us as individuals. Take, for example, my own experience with mental illnesses. I could easily view them with disgust, yearning for my brain to conform to societal norms. However, if it weren't for these diagnoses, I wouldn't be the person I am today. And let me tell you, the person I am today is pretty cool, if I do say so myself. She isn't flawless by any means, and that's precisely why I find her so remarkable.


Relationships and Forgiveness: Kintsugi teaches us the value of forgiveness and the importance of repairing broken relationships. Just as broken pottery is repaired with precious metals, broken relationships can be mended with love, understanding, and acceptance.


⬆️ After enduring the traumatic experience of a home invasion and sexual assault during my senior year of college, I faced numerous struggles for years. There were moments when I felt broken, unsure of how to move forward. However, one of the most significant turning points in my healing journey was the realization that making amends with my loved ones was crucial. Before I could even begin to forgive myself for the mistakes I made, it was essential for me to seek forgiveness from those I had hurt. Additionally, I recognized the importance of forgiving those who had caused me pain. This process of seeking and granting forgiveness played a pivotal role in my path towards healing and growth.


I ended up embarking on a journey to right my wrongs, reaching out to old friends whom I had neglected for years. I humbly confessed my mistakes to my family, seeking their forgiveness for the pain and worry I had caused. I shifted my focus to nurturing the friendships that truly mattered to me, realizing that it was quality over quantity that truly mattered. I offered apologies for past transgressions, even for actions that took place decades ago. I released all animosity and resentment towards my enemies, no longer concerned with who liked or judged me. As I began to heal, my perspective on life transformed, and I experienced a profound sense of personal growth.


Shifting Your Mindset:

Kintsugi encourages us to shift our perspective and see challenges as opportunities for growth. By embracing our brokenness, we can find strength in vulnerability and resilience in the face of adversity.


⬆️ Frequently, we find ourselves desperate to conceal our past. We strive to hide our mistakes, pain, and wounds. However, it is precisely those mistakes, heartache, and scars that ultimately reveal the path to healing and growth. I am truly inspired by the concept of perceiving our setbacks as catalysts for personal growth. During challenging times, it can be difficult to recognize the glimmer of hope amidst the darkness. In those moments, our focus on the pain can blind us from envisioning the transformative potential that lies within the process of overcoming it. It's all about shifting our mindset to see our losses and failures as beautiful stepping stones to get us to where we need to be.


To conclude, kintsugi is a powerful metaphor for embracing imperfections and finding beauty in brokenness. It reminds us that life's challenges and setbacks do not diminish our worth but rather add depth and character to our journey. By applying the principles of Kintsugi to our lives, we can cultivate self-acceptance, resilience, and a profound appreciation for the beauty that emerges from our brokenness. Let us embrace our imperfections, honor our scars, and celebrate the golden lines that tell the story of our lives.


Xoxo,

Caitlin





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