October 18, 2019 | by Curt Stone
"Kintsugi" - Life After Brain Injury
by Former Board Member, Curt Stone
The Japanese term Kintsugi is an idea of fixing broken things to be stronger and more beautiful than the original. It is a philosophy that flaws and imperfections should be embraced and just because something is broken does not mean it has lost its usefulness. In fact just the opposite, with a little work and repair it can be made to be far better than the original.
Western culture doesn’t seem to have a similar concept to Kintsugi. Our single serving, throw it away when it breaks because it is no longer perfect or beautiful, mentality has been adopted towards ourselves and other people. Here is the rub, if you sincerely put your heart into your life, if you truly live your life, if you take chances, if you embrace change, if you try something you don’t know how to do, you are going to break from time to time. You are going to have heartbreak, you are going to fall flat on your face, and you are going to fail.
What our society does not teach people is that if you apply the right golden laced mortar to those mental and physical fractures it is an opportunity to build something way stronger and so much more beautiful than the original. The imaginary idea of the perfect bowl, the perfect life, the perfect job; this just flat out doesn’t exist and as soon as we realize that fact the sooner we can Kintsugi our own broken parts and truly enjoy and appreciate the wonderful times and opportunities ahead of each and every one of us.
I write this because I have seen some posts lately about some life challenges people are going through and I just hope they know they truly are opportunities to build themselves into something far more amazing than they ever were before, and some of them are doing just that. On a personal level, I have broken my body more times than I care to count, I have screwed up my share of relationships, I like to think I have been on the right side of life's issues way more than the wrong side but those times I was wrong I really messed things up.
I have been on a journey to Kintsugi all of my life. My broken parts will make something that is more unbreakable than ever before and something that clearly shows I have lived a full life and am not ashamed of the gold-laced mortar making me more beautiful than the previous version of myself.
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