The Kintsugi Philosophy

Hello everyone!

In The Book of Ichigo Ichie: The Art of Making the Most of Every Moment, the Japanese Way, there are a lot of fascinating anecdotes about Japanese cultures and practices.

One of the ideas that I particularly enjoyed was The Kintsugi Philosophy.

Legend has it that over five centuries ago, a certain ruler had two teacups. They were his prized possessions. One day they broke accidentally. This made the ruler very upset. They were sent to be repaired and were returned to him with gold-filled in between the cracks. Though the teacups never looked as good as new, the gold gave them a new aesthetic.

The story goes that the ruler fell so in love with them that he asked his artists to deliberately break the other cups so that they could be repaired the same way.

This is how the idea of Kintsugi was born.

Kintsugi means “there is beauty in imperfection.” A paragraph from the book made so much sense to me. It said:

“Leaving our emotional wounds exposed forever, like a broken cup that goes un-repaired, causes unnecessary suffering. But we can recover, using what we have learned from our misfortunes and failures. In this way, our scars will tell our stories like the golden lacquer of Kintsugi.”

We can never be our perfect versions, no matter how hard we strive. Humans were meant to have flaws and imperfections. We’ve somehow ingrained in ourselves the belief that rather than accepting our imperfections, we should overcome them and hide them.

There is a saying: “Do not try to change so much that you fail to recognise yourself.” As much as we desire to be better, it is even better if we embrace ourselves.

Weaknesses do not imply that we are insufficient. As easy as it sounds, to tell yourself that you are enough is a challenge. It takes a lot of rewiring and unlearning to understand this.

Each failure, each flaw and each difficult situation makes us stronger with time. If we try to chase the so-called “perfect life”, it will never arrive.

Flaws are beautiful. They make a person seem real and human. Nobody is 100% contented with their life. We have our share of worries and challenges to face and problems to resolve. As we move ahead, these very flaws highlight our personality and make us stand out.

But as they say, we need a bit of everything in the right proportions to make life worth living.

Image via Unsplash

Until next time, stay blessed!

6 thoughts on “The Kintsugi Philosophy

  1. The saying “There’s a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in” is a quote from Leonard Cohen, not Brene Brown. Please make sure that when you give credit for something that you cite the originator and not someone who’s repurposing it or repeating it. It’s actually very important to writers as part of their identity. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

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