Some of us were taught from a very young age that in order to do things ideally, we needed to do it thoroughly with minimal mistakes or flaws. While some of us might think of this as a seemingly harmless thought pattern, the actual tendency for us to follow this way of thinking is still somewhat high.
As we grow up, we might unconsciously strive to find perfection in a number of areas in our lives. Perhaps we aim to one day be financially independent or to settle down and have a happy family. But life has its ups and downs, and when life throws its challenges, some of us might be able to turn to the Kintsugi philosophy to find peace of mind.
According to The School of Life, Kintsugi is a Japanese art form in which breaks and repairs are treated as part of the object's beauty and history.
Kin (金）= Golden
Tsugi (継ぎ）= Repair
With the word kin and tsugi combined, the literal meaning of the word Kintsugi translates to golden repair. This traditional Japanese art form mends broken ceramics with powdered gold, silver, or platinum. Purposely making the broken cracks visible as part of the object's strength, beauty and history.
According to Life Gate, it was presumed that the Kintsugi technique was invented around the fifteenth century when Ashikaga Yoshimasa, the shogun (commander in chief) of Japan at the time, broke his favourite cup of tea and had it sent off to China. However, he was petrified upon the return of his favourite teacup as it has been mended with unsightly metal staples. The commander in chief wanted an alternative solution which made the broken cracks part of the beauty and history of the teacup. For this reason, the Kintsugi philosophy was created.
This unique technique of mending pottery can suggest many things;
The first one being that not everything that is broken has lost its value. Despite our mistakes or the struggles that we go through, we must learn how to put ourselves back together and develop the resilience to grow through our challenges. Instead of seeing our scars or negative experiences as something to be buried deep inside of us, we should instead learn from Kintsugi, and realize that our broken cracks are what makes us stronger and more beautiful.
The second one being that we can't control what life throws at us. Life won't always be perfect and we will have to encounter negative moments and experiences. But instead of trying to control the situation, we could instead control our reaction and the way we think about our struggles. Seeing them merely as small bumps on the road which would lead to a better version of ourselves in the future. These moments are there for a reason, which is to teach us valuable life lessons and to make us grow as individuals.
The Kintsugi philosophy teaches us to celebrate not just the good parts in life, but the entirety of the journey. It teaches us to embrace both the ups and downs that life often throws at us. Kintsugi reminds us that our journeys make every one of us uniquely different, and that's the beauty of it all.
So, the next time we find ourselves knit-picking on our flaws or dwelling on why we're not doing enough, perhaps we could turn to the Kintsugi philosophy to remind ourselves that things won't always be perfect and that in itself is good enough.