Owning our Broken Pieces

Owning our broken pieces to tell a new story.

How often do you listen to yourself? I don’t mean the voice that nags, but how often do you touch base with yourself by slowing down and listening to your quiet, intuitive self? Touching base with what I might call your inner voice—through meditation or through healing modalities like reiki or journaling—get you back in touch with your inner compass.

To work through self-destructive habits and patterns, just pushing them away isn’t usually healthy. All the raw and real and messy parts we’re composed of, in order to heal we can fall in love, in a way, with those parts and forgive ourselves for what we feel we have done or haven’t done.

We don’t grow much in the easy times, after all. But baggage holds us back. To focus on the realm of past memories is to live there, but there is a way of surrendering, of trusting in better ahead—not because we know the future but because we learn to face our days with a different energy. An energy that arms us with a quiet confidence to face up to what comes. Don’t we all deserve that?

As Elizabeth Lesser asks in her memoir Broken Open, will we be broken down and defeated, or broken open and transformed? Your pain—job loss, illness, divorce—can be moved through in a healthier way, but we can’t just wish for that to happen. Instead, we learn the tools and practices that map onto our authentic selves. You can be wary of the trendy and new and instead explore what is in alignment with you.

For me, it’s chi gong, an Asian healing art with thousands of years of history. I understand the power of daily ritual to quiet our over-analytical thinking and to make room for love and forgiveness, of ourselves, as we pass through the storm. Sometimes I say it’s about moving from thinking to more heart-based living.

The Japanese practice of kintsukuroi (金繕い) is a good metaphor here: broken pottery pieces are melded together with gold and silver laquer, making for an object that is all the more beautiful for not hiding its imperfections. If we can face up to our flaws and imperfections, and sometimes even embrace them, it makes us richer and more beautiful too.

There is a new story you can tell about yourself, one that depends on healing old patterns and making a daily commitment to excavate and fall in love with all the parts of you, not just the shiny new ones. Are you ready to begin?

Kintsukuroi Bowl