I recently heard that the Japanese do not throw away broken bowls, instead, they fix it by filling the cracks with gold, creating a beautiful lining. They do this not just for fixing sake, but more than anything to depict the beauty in what once was broken. They believe damaged things have a history… a history that makes them more beautiful.
So, I began to think of the few scars I have, I wanted so badly to see their beauty. I looked at the physical ones, I thought hard about the emotional ones and surprisingly I began to see sense in this old Japanese tradition.
You see, I have a surgery scar, two actually, just that they are in the same area and although there is nothing beautiful about the way they look, I have discovered beauty in the story they tell.
I also have a few emotional scars, probably fewer than that of many people…the one that came to be after going through the loss of a loved one or even from a broken relationship and for a long time, thinking about them would bring sad memories of pain.
But beyond these memories is a story of vulnerability and strength. Vulnerability that came with fear of what was to come and the pain of what eventually came. Strength… the inner one you never knew you had… the one that came with going through and coming out of the pain,surprisingly with grace.
We are humans and its okay to be vulnerable, because after that vulnerability, comes a strength you never knew you possessed.
Pain is never easy… it’s ugly to go through but the scars it leaves doesn’t make our lives uglier… it makes it more beautiful.
Now, I enjoy telling stories about my scars, particularly to prepare the vulnerable, I share the ugliness and the pain of going through it but I fill them with gold by emphasising the beauty of coming out of it.
So, let’s wear our scars like a badge of honour fixed to our lapel… let them tell people the stories they are meant to tell… of how vulnerable we were… but also how strong we are to have come out with grace.