Kintsugi, which translates to ‘golden joinery’ (or Kintsukuroi, which means ‘golden repair’), is the centuries-old Japanese art of fixing broken pottery with a special lacquer dusted with powdered gold, silver, or platinum. Beautiful seams of gold glint in the cracks of the repaired ceramic-ware, giving each piece a unique appearance.

This repair method celebrates each artifact’s unique history by emphasizing its fractures and breaks instead of hiding or disguising them. Kintsugi often makes the repaired piece even more beautiful than the original, revitalizing it with new life. Source: Kintsugi: The Centuries-Old Art of Repairing Broken Pottery with Gold by My Modern Met Team.

There is a Chinese idiom that says, ‘the more one tries to hide the more one is exposed’. It is natural to want to hide parts of ourselves or parts of our painful pasts from others. In a way, we do this to protect ourselves and or to escape judgment and harsh criticisms from others.

There is a Jamaica idiom that says, ‘he who feels it knows it’. Unsolicited and solicited criticism and opinions are easy to form. Living, experiencing and overcoming challenges is hard. Sometimes we forget that we are human too, speaking too quickly or being too critical of others.

Regardless of how calculated or careful you are, you cannot calculate and carefully navigate every step you take. It is humanly impossible. In an effort to do this, you expose parts of yourself that you would have rather not exposed. This was something I struggled with. I can be open yet – very private in the same breath. I am not particularly fond of baring my soul casually. I tend to draw reference from and share past hurts or weakness for the purposes of encouraging others and offering relatability.

As private as I am, I was unable to hide the pain of my past and the struggles of the present. Bit by bit, in my effort to hide, I was exposed. This made me uncomfortable and insecure.

Until I was invited to share my past, pain, challenges, and victories. That led me down a road of sharing the good, the bad, the ugly and the beautiful for the purposes of inspiring and helping. The more I did, the more I accepted the past and the present. I coped better. Healed faster. Loved stronger. Got braver. I was never met with what I feared the most. I was not judged or criticized harshly. I was praised for my bravery, relatability, creativity, and skills. This is the reason I write this very blog today. I was encouraged to expose past experiences and parts of myself in an effort to help others.

At some point in time we are all a jar that is, or was, broken. If we allow it, and take the proper steps, we can be repaired with gold. We need not worry about the judgment and harsh criticisms of others. We are powerless to control that. And those who are quick to judge and criticize harshly, without reason, are broken jars themselves.

Mature, experienced and compassionate minds will encourage and uplift you. In the end, the world will see that you were broken but what will captivate them is the beauty of your repair. Much like the beauty of the Kintsukuroi.

How not to be re-traumatized and triggered

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