Days of kings and queens would end and pass. Warriors do fail to slay their dragons and monsters. A pauper may one day find out that he is a prince. The ugly duckling never would have guessed that one day he’d turn into a beautiful swan.
Life is a constant struggle. We wouldn’t always be on top and there would be a time when the failure and the pain are just too much that we’d feel like we can barely breathe. At times of darkness, with both our hearts and minds clouded, we tend to think less of ourselves. Devaluating ourselves or others, I believe, sparks alienation and paints the most depressing thoughts. There comes a point when depressing thoughts drives us to do things that would harm us. Hence it is essential for us to learn and realize that our value as a person never diminishes, no matter how “broken” we think we’ve become.
The first rays of the sun just kissed the distant ground and sleep has not wooed me to bed. I decided to go online and browse randomly when I came across an interesting practice of art which instantly piqued my curiosity. It was the first time I’ve encountered the term Kintsukuroi. It means to repair with gold, and is the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with gold or at times silver. The essence of this practice is to recognize the fact that something can still be beautiful despite being damaged. I instantly liked the idea of it and knew that as an advocate against self-harm, I should share about this practice because it might make others think twice before hurting themselves.
I used to maintain a blog on Tumblr and it made it possible for me to talk to those I follow and to those who follow me. Most of the people I interacted with were teens and young adults from around the globe. A number of them owned a personal blog and the fact that their posts usually contained feelings of depression or low self-esteem alarmed me. Some may have tagged them as attention seekers, but I disagree. People who feel trapped in the real world go online where they are anonymous and could speak freely. For them it’s a place where they can vent their pent up feelings.
I wish that every one of them knows that experiencing the feeling of being broken or suffering shouldn’t make us any less as a person. The road a man takes, no matter how much he tries to play it safe, is rough and bumpy with a twist for the better or a turn for the worst. Everything we go through, once passed, would become another page in our book. Our evaluated experiences, as I remembered from the talk our regional director gave, should serve as a lesson and a guide to becoming a better person.
Our flaws, faults and failures contribute to who we are as a person. We all have bruises we wish to hide, cracks we ineffectively keep on filling and wounds that never seem to heal. Kintsukuroi though is a practice that reminds us that our bruises, cracks and wounds, make us uniquely beautiful.
By Cherrie Magbanua, intern at the WYA Asia Pacific office. To learn more about our internship program, click here.