The Japanese have a beautiful art when it comes to broken pottery. They take the broken pottery, and fix the crack, or piece with silver, gold or platinum. The item is repaired but now enhanced. The gold emphasises the fractures and breaks, instead of hiding or disguising. Showing time and love has been taken to make the item whole again (Damn, the song is now playing in my head!). The practice is related to the Japanese philosophy of Wabi-Sabi, which calls for seeing the beauty in the flawed or imperfect. This repair method was born from the Japanese feeling of Mottainai, which expresses regret when something is wasted, as well is Mushin, the acceptance of change.
In the Western world we would swear at the person or yourself who has broken the item, collect the pieces and throw in the bin.
I believe we should use this method in our lives. We have all felt broken at times in our life. I don't mean a broken arm or fractured leg, but inside - the heart or the mind. We have two options, we can collect the pieces of our lives and just throw them away or we take the pieces and repair - before you start painting your entire gold and look like you should be on Tom Hanks mantle looking like a life-size Oscar trophy. I mean with love and kindness; not with actual paint.
This week has been Mental Health Awareness Week and the theme has been Kindness. I believe Kindness must start with ourselves first, and then continue to others. You cannot expect someone to like you or love you, if you cannot.
I think we all have had times when we have felt broken, but just like the broken pottery we can become whole again, by being kind to ourselves. Accepting who we are, accepting the fractures we may have but also asking for help when needed. Sometimes what we project onto others, is what we are seeing in ourselves.
I believe my kindness to myself was knowing when to say no, when to leave a friendship/relationship as it was having a negative impact on my life. To be less judgemental with ourselves. We will all mess up in life (if you don't; maybe you should write a self help book) When we start looking in the mirror and like what we see, then so will other people. And there is no shame in asking others for help, that is another way of being kind to yourself. Realising you cannot do this on your own. I knew I couldn't. In fact I have used a whole variety of sources to make myself whole again but (bloody song again). I have sought professional medical help, mindfulness teachers, yoga teachers, self learning and turned to family and friends. Somethings have helped, some have not. We are all different, so maybe CBT is what you need or you may find you just need release tensionby going to the gym. Whatever works.
We can then open our arms to others. To see people's flaws and accept them, in the same way you accept yours.
And so it is
N.B. If you are having negative thoughts please do not sit in silence, see below for details:
Samaritans: 0330 094 5717
CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably): 0800 58 58 58
SANEline: 0300 304 7000