Self-Care Sunday: Embracing The Beauty of Imperfection

Something I have struggled with all of my life and still struggle with is the constant quest for perfection. I impose this standard of perfection upon others, and most adamantly upon myself. Its exhausting and pointless, because ultimately its unobtainable. 

I have a tendency of wanting to scrap an entire idea, place or person because they don't live up to the image in my head of what or who they should be. I fall in the box of things to be discarded sometimes too. In the effort to make constant improvements, I am constantly evaluating how myself, others and circumstances could be better and thus, perpetually dissatisfied. 

In this podcast, I'm sharing a Japanese art that embraces the beauty in brokenness and imperfection that reminds me to focus on the beauty instead of the broken-in ourselves, others, and in our circumstances. 

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This traditional Japanese art of kintsugi uses a precious metal – liquid gold, liquid silver or lacquer dusted with powdered gold – to bring together the pieces of a broken pottery item and at the same time enhance the breaks. The technique consists of joining fragments and giving them a new, more refined aspect. Every repaired piece is unique, because of the randomness with which ceramics shatters and the irregular patterns formed that are enhanced with the use of metals.

  • With this technique it’s possible to create true and always different works of art, each with its own story and beauty, thanks to the unique cracks formed when the object breaks, as if they were wounds that leave different marks on each of us.

The kintsugi method conveys a philosophy not of replacement, but of awe, reverence, and restoration. The gold-filled cracks of a once-broken item are a testament to its history. Shimode points out that “The importance in kintsugi is not the physical appearance, it is… the beauty and the importance [that] stays in the one who is looking at the dish.”

Non-Japanese makers may not realize it, but we practice this philosophy when we see a broken object’s potential, when we upcycle, when we repurpose, when we reincarnate an object that would otherwise likely be thrown away. As Shimode says, “It’s one beautiful way of living, that you fix your dish by yourself.”

And indeed we "fix" our dish and our life by fixing our perspective and forgoing the idea of perfection. The imperfections are what make us and our experiences beautiful. 


Source 1 - HERE

Source 2 - this article .