On September 16, 2013, I broke by all mainstream standards. Two years ago, around the 4 year anniversary of the break, I wrote a beautiful message to myself about how I was beginning to heal myself from the broken and I compared my broken to how I felt the world was in the Fall of 2017. Here’s what I said:
There’s a Japanese art form and philosophy known as Kintsukuroi (Kint-su-ku-roy) , which is a technique where broken pottery is mended with gold, silver, or platinum dusted lacquer so that the broken piece is literally “repaired with gold”. It’s a philosophy that holds that the journey of an object’s breakage and repair is an important visual of the object’s history that deserves to shine through rather than be disguised. The broken is the beauty. Isn’t that awesome?
There is a ton of broken in ourselves and in our world. I am hyper aware of and equally sensitive to all that is in utter disrepair on every possible level. But I serve no one but the darkness when I allow my own disrepair to remain. So in my repair, I dusted all kinds of gold all over myself and the tiny pieces that turned to dust when I broke apart just changed my repaired shape a bit.
All this broken in our world and within each one of us can be illuminated in the repairing. There is much mending to do in ourselves, in our society, our country, and our world and it can’t be forgotten, disguised or ignored because it’s hard or hurts too much. Rather we can fill in the broken spaces between us with gold, silver, and platinum and let that broken shine through as a tribute to our incredible bravery for continuing on.
Now that I have traveled 6 revolutions around the sun since my break and 2 revolutions since I wrote about the practices of self-healing akin to Kintsukuroi, I have come to understand more deeply that what happened to me was really just an opportunity to burn away underbrush that needed clearing so that new growth could proliferate. Looking back on the sacred space that was created for my family, the healing I had no choice but to focus on, and the community building I have made a priority in the years since that break, I am so damn grateful for that beautiful me of 2013, who in failing her own perception of success, was so tired and overwhelmed; who was filled with love and heartbreak; who was pining to just be with her babies in a society that was not built for her.
She/I burned those perceptions to the ground by simply walking away from the material world to which we were so devoted yet so exhausted trying to upkeep. For years after, she/I fought the guilt and shame that came with the desire for perfectionism all the time. And then she/I rooted into our healing, spent our days loving our loves, disentangled our brain from anger, shame, fear, forgave us over and over again, lacquering that cracked bowl, repaired in dusted gold, silver, and platinum, with a a shine and gleam that speaks of deep, thoughtful care.
I took my meds daily and didn’t stop once they worked, as I had done in the past. I opened myself to community, my most long-standing sacred form of connection building. And I re-centered my life for the revolutionary change I had felt was coming deep in my knowing long before the break that, like the phoenix rising, burned away and revived the eternal fire of my soul.
And so I am writing of the unraveling, the un-intentional burning of my life to the ground, to say that the fire I set to my soul 6 years ago this week, offered an opportunity to create a life where I am empowered to re-define success as a daily practice in listening, manifesting joy, and deep self-understanding.
And so I root down and rise up to another day, year, occasion for growth… Another Revolution. All definitions apply.