Strangely enough, the most beautiful things in our lives spring from the broken things within ourselves. Don’t get me wrong, a prolonged feeling of brokenness can be unhealthy and damaging—but periodic feelings of brokenness are actually quite necessary for overall growth. We become stronger people when we are forced to reevaluate and rebuild our lives. J.K. Rowling once said that after she had experienced the depths of poverty, “Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.”
Kintsugi is a Japanese form of art where the the artisan repairs broken pottery using a lacquer mixed with gold, silver, or platinum. This process repairs what is broken and, ironically, highlights the “imperfection.” The philosophy and symbolism behind the action is quite marvelous: Brokenness does not destroy the object. On the contrary, it adds history and value. In essence, the brokenness of the object is the very thing which makes the object more valuable.
I have seen this process in my own life and in the lives of others. I’ve seen my own painful experiences with depression transformed into lessons of hope which have helped others. I’ve known people who hit rock bottom and shatter into a thousand pieces. That brokenness caused them reevaluate and rebuild their lives in marvelous ways. A similar thing happens in the lives of addicts. They reach a point where they feel like their lives are beyond repair. But then they get help and reach out to a higher power—the Master Artisan.
Vance Havner wrote: “God uses broken things. It takes broken soil to produce a crop, broken clouds to give rain, broken grain to give bread, broken bread to give strength. It is the broken alabaster box that gives forth perfume. It is Peter, weeping bitterly, who returns to greater power than ever.”
It is okay to feel broken. Broken is a great place to rebuild. Broken gives you the chance to become something new. Focus on how you can rebuild. If you do this, I promise that gradually, your life will be transformed into something as beautiful Kintsugi pottery.