We all have a chip in our proverbial cups.
The chip may be superficial or a cavernous fracture - as life leaves its mark on us.
The chip might be habitual tension held in the shoulders.
Or a lifelong tendency for stress to deeply affect your digestive system.
It might be negative self-talk and disgust for your body.
It might be an old knee injury that acts up from time to time.
Or a sensitivity to feeling unloved or betrayed.
Whether it is visible or invisible, this chip or crack in your vessel affects you.
It is your weakness.
A place in your body, mind, or spirit where pain enters.
Something that reminds you of your finite humanness.
No one is spared this. No one. Not in my experience at least.
Everyone has something that they struggle with, physically, mentally, emotionally, or spiritually.
This chip or crack is where we experience suffering.
And it can be a potent source of anxiety, fear, disconnection, agony, and grief.
We may be in the thick of it for minutes, hours, days, seasons or years.
The intensity will ebb and flow in cycles, in patterns, or with no apparent trigger.
And yet, here we are. There is that chip again. There’s that crack.
Do you ever wonder if there is something seriously wrong?
Something that feels like it’s getting worse? Or something that just doesn’t get better?
The thing about chips and cracks is that they are both a place where we connect to our pain and suffering AND where we can offer ourselves love, kindness, and healing.
These cracks in our metaphorical vessel can act as places to make offerings.
Offerings of awareness.
Offerings of tenderness.
Offerings of peace.
Offerings of friendship.
Make offerings at these junctures, into the fractures of your consciousness, into the fractures of your physical body, into the fractures of your heart - and witness the magic that can unfold.
Like Kintsugi, the Japanese art of mending chips and cracks in broken pottery.
Instead of throwing away the less than perfect bowl, plate, cup, dish, or vase - the rough edges are sanded and the broken pieces are glued back together with raw sap from the urushi tree.
And the cracks are painted with GOLD.
The imperfections become the art. And the artist becomes the healer.
Don’t abandon your vessel or throw your hope away because of your cracks and chips.
You are powerful and courageous because you are still here.
Even if you don't feel courageous right now, I see it in you.
You are breathing and smiling, even with everything you’ve been through.
Even with everything you are going through right now.
Those cracks, those chips, are liminal spaces to receive goodness and express authentically.
They are nothing to hide or ignore.
If anything, your fractures are here to be seen, felt, and witnessed.
Here to be filled with the golden elixir of remembering.
Pour your consciousness through these spaces with as much love and tenderness as you can muster.
Become the golden wisdom you seek.
Let’s fill up these places, knitting you back into wholeness.
So you can hold more love, more joy, and more ease.
The image above is from Quin Cheung, a small batch artisan ceramacist who you can find on Instagram at @quinspired. This is one of her original pieces of pottery that was fixed with a traditional Kintsugi technique by a kintsugi artist trained by a Japanese sensei, who goes by the name “M.” More information on the Kintsugi artist can be found on Instagram @mkintsugi_journey