perfectly imperfect

Perfectly Imperfect: Finding Beauty in the Broken

We Are All Broken

I rarely get to meet new friends anymore these days.

Ever since I became a mom, I’ve placed all my energy into taking care of my family, work, this blog, and more recently, myself. I don’t have much time and energy to spare.

I don’t do girls night outs or even entertain at home. That’s my reality.

So I’m grateful for my family and old friends. Even though we all live in different parts of the country and the world, I know they’re just a phone call away.

I appreciate their company whenever I get the chance to travel and visit them or when they visit me. When we see each other, we can easily pick-up where we left off from the last time we saw or spoke to each other, as if no time has passed.

My family and old friends have given me love and support when I needed them most.

But blogging is slowly changing this reality for me. I’m starting to meet new friends – like-minded people who’s going through what I’m going through.

As I meet new blogging friends, I realized that although our stories may be different, it is our stories that brought us to where we are now.

I was also brought back to the time when my now old friends were once new to me. They too have their own stories to tell. And most of the time, those stories brought us together.

I’ve heard stories of growth, love, dreams and aspirations. But many of the stories also involved disappointments, failures, heartbreaks and even trauma.

It’s impossible to go through life unscathed. Life is not perfect, it will never be. From the moment we were born, every hurt, no matter how small, wounds us. As time passes, these wounds heal, but they still leave a scar.

Living a full life means having been broken.

So as I think about the stories of my friends, and my own too, I realized one thing, we are all broken.

But the eye-opening revelation for me is that even if we’re all broken, there’s beauty that can be found in the broken.

Finding Beauty in the Broken

Ashikaga Yoshimasa was a 15th century shogun (military ruler) in Japan known for being ineffective at his job.

When he was proclaimed as a shogun at the age of 13, the state of the countryside that he ruled over was in decline. During his rule, he was not able to improve the conditions. Starvation was widespread and there was economic turmoil.

But Yoshimasa brought a lot of beauty during his reign. He was an avid patron of the arts. He especially favored tea ceremonies and made it into an art form.

Legend has it that there was a time when Yoshimasa’s favorite tea bowl got broken. Instead of disposing it, he sent the tea bowl to China for repairs.

When the tea bowl was returned, it was repaired using metal staples. The metal staples were unattractive so local artisans tried to mend it. The best solution they found was to fill the cracks with lacquer sprinkled with gold dust.

This technique turned into the art of kintsugi. The featured image of this blog post is an example of such a work of art.

This bowl was thought to be broken once, but with the art of kintsugi, it was turned into something beautiful. Each crack and flaw has been illuminated, becoming the bowl’s saving grace.

Art truly imitates life through kintsugi.

Perfectly Imperfect

Despite the imperfections within the stories that I’ve been told by my friends and even my loved ones, I was able to see their beauty by seeing the goodness in them. The more I listened to their stories, the more I see the beauty in them. In my eyes, they’re perfectly imperfect.

Like a kintsugi bowl, we can transform the hurts in our lives into something beautiful. Like gold dust, we can illuminate our bad experiences by seeing the goodness that came out of such experiences.

We can be a kintsugi artisan of our lives, if we are willing to give it a try.

We come to love not by finding a perfect person, but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly. – Sam Keen

 

perfectly imperfect

 

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41 comments On Perfectly Imperfect: Finding Beauty in the Broken

  • I’m glad you’ve very understanding people around you…

    Nobody can be perfect … we can only strive to be the best of ourselves … and being perfectly imperfect!! 🙂

  • This really touched my heart, Sigrid!

  • I can totally relate! There are so many of us moms who, when taking care of our kids as they grow, lose our connections with those around us. I remember when I was a kid, thinking, “My parents are strange…they don’t have any friends” When my sister and I grew up, all of a sudden they have a social life again 🙂 This is a season many of us go through but it does have an end. I like how you tie it into the art of Kintsugi. I remember seeing those in our metro museum…very beautiful indeed!

    • Hello Sarah,

      I haven’t seen a kintsugi bowl in real life, but I’m captivated by their beauty, just by looking at the photos I’ve seen!

      I totally agree that life has its seasons. It’s not always summer and not always winter as well. You have given me such an inspiration to write something about the seasons of life!

      For us moms, we really have to learn to enjoy the current season. It may be hard, it may be frustrating, but it’s also full of love and laughter!

      Best,
      Sigrid

  • love this, its something that I was just talking about with somebody a few days ago, how the only way to move forward is not to look for somebody to fix us but to accept our cracks #blogginggoodtime

    • Hello Jeremy,

      I love what you said there. Accepting the cracks and all definitely will allow us to move forward. And sometimes, we get stuck in life because we refused to accept the faults.

      Thank you for reading and commenting!

      Best,
      Sigrid

  • Good morning Sigrid, I’m sure many bloggers will relate to your story. Even now with two grown up children I still live a quiet life sticking with friends I know rather than wanting to make new ones. Blogging is different though. Through blogging I’ve met so many amazing people, all with a story to tell… I love how the art of kintsugi came about. How we choose to see something says a lot about our character… Although I do wish my Dad would know when to stop fixing his sandals and by a new pair!

    Thank you for linking up with #keepingitreal (&sorry I’m running late this week).

    xx

    • Hello Debbie,

      Your Dad’s love for his slippers really shows that true love means accepting the cracks, whether it’s of people or things!

      I’m glad to know that I’m not alone on this. I’m always asked if I’ve found new friends or busy with my new social circle. Blogging has definitely helped fill that gap!

      Best,
      Sigrid

  • Nothing better than being loved as a whole. Cracks and all.

  • This is a beautiful post and I actually watched a Youtube lecture on this very topic just last week, it is such a incredible way to see something that is broken and turn it into something even more precious, unique and beautiful than it was before. #ABloggingGoddTime

    • Hello Mackenzie,

      I’m glad you liked this post. When you have the chance, and if you don’t mind, please do share the link to the lecture that you saw. I would love to watch it!

      Best,
      Sigrid

  • This is a fab post!! I always find other peoples flaws and imperfections the most intriguing part of a person #blogcrush

    • Hello Kelly,

      Thank you for reading and for stopping by! Also, I would like to thank you for choosing this as a featured post in #BlogCrush.

      People tend to hide their flaws and imperfections but you are right, they make people more intriguing, and of course beautiful!

      Best,
      Sigrid

  • Again I totally love this post, and although I have already commented I am back from #BlogCrush

  • Juggling is so hard and tiring but finding friendships that work for us is so important xxx

  • This is a great post and so true. Sadly some feel like they have to hide the cracks from the world but the blogging community is a safe space to write about our imperfections. This is one of the reasons I found myself starting a blog. #BlogCrush

    • Hello Emma,

      When I first started blogging I actually didn’t know how to meet other bloggers. But once I started getting to know those from the blogging community, I felt at home! Thank you for taking the time to read!

      Best,
      Sigrid

  • Love the sentiment Sigrid … so much to think about there. Loving people for who they are, and not always trying to change them. #Blogcrush

  • What a beautiful post, although I do sometimes wonder if there is anything left of me but filled cracks. But isn’t that life, at least the cracks are filled because I appreciate the positives in life no matter what it throws at me. I also try to see past the cracks in others and there is always time for new friends.
    #blogcrush

  • That’s truly uplifting and beautiful to read #blogcrush

  • I love how you’ve created this post around the story of the tea bowl. We are all a little bit broken in some way and blogging is a great way to find like minded people that have been through similar experiences. #BlogCrush

    • Hello Cassie,

      Thank you for visiting my blog! That’s the beauty of blogging. It has allowed many of us to find our kindred spirits and also, we’re able to help others by sharing our experiences in life.

      Best,
      Sigrid

  • Beautiful, i love the bowl analogy. Perfect way of looking at things. #BlogCrush

  • A really thought-provoking post. I also have been astounded at the opportunity to meet new people through my blog, and relate to a lot of what you say here about finding it difficult to make friends. I’m glad you’ve found a new chapter of your life, and that it’s give you a chance to appreciate your friends from previous chapters too #blogcrush

    • Hello Lucy,

      It’s been truly a blessing to meet like-minded people through our blogs. Sometimes our circumstances in our lives may not always afford us such opportunities. I am thankful for my friends, both new and old!

      Best,
      Sigrid

  • This post is just, wow. I often struggle to forgive others and myself sometimes for all that personal darkness. It’s hard to describe sometimes, but there is just something so beautiful in humanity and its potential for greatness.

    Thank you for this unique post.

    • Hello Bea,

      Thank you for reading and commenting! I’m glad to meet you.

      In my experience, the more I get to know a person, the more I find them beautiful. I agree with you that there’s beauty in humanity. We just have to allow ourselves time and the change to see the beauty.

      Best,
      Sigrid

  • I can’t remember when I first heard about this techinque to fix broken pottery but I think it’s just wonderful. How perfect that something broken can become even more beautiful.

I would love to hear your thoughts!

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