Kintsugi: Where Faith and Healing Meet
“No. No more. I cannot do this anymore. Why am I investing time in this? This tree isn't bearing any fruit. This is not the tree God has for me…at least not now. I need to focus on me. I need to prioritize myself. It's time to put my self-care, self-love, and inner spiritual relationship first.”
To choose you is scary and frightening. Why? When you have spent time putting the needs of others before yours, making you a priority in your life is foreign to you. But, I will say that looking at where I've been and where I currently am, starting this was the best thing I could ever do for myself (second to accepting Christ).
The quote above is how I started this journey, this healing as I like to call it. Was it an epiphany, a revelation of some sort? You could say that; heck, let's call it that. I believe that at some point, if you allow yourself to be your most honest and transparent self, you will come to a moment (sort of like a crossroad) where you have to decide what matters the most in your life. There will come a time in your life (it happened to me) when letting go of what you tolerated and wanted (the friendships, the relationships, the status based goals society says ought to be a goal) will be the healthiest and one of the most rewarding choices of your life.
As a Christian in this world, I had to ask myself, is choosing me the will of God? Is putting I before everything and everyone else pleasing in the eyes of the Lord? How do I heal and not feel guilty? How do I choose myself and not feel like I let go of my dreams, my goals, and let people down? These are the questions I want to tackle in this series. Let's begin with the basics.
What is healing? We could always go by the definition of the word:
I want to dig deeper. Let's think this is one through. When we think of healing, what do we associate with it? I think of a wound, a cut, an injury of some sort which affect the natural state of a body or an object. When I think of healing, I relate the phrase "to heal" with the idea of something has been altered from its natural state (can be based on circumstances, events, encounters, experience, decisions, or self-infliction) and using resources (such as time, lessons, truths, and knowledge) to bring what has been altered back to itself as best as possible. To heal, I have come to know, is to allow what has changed from its original creation, to return and be made whole again. This idea reminds me of Kintsugi.
Kintsugi is the Japanese tradition of using powdered minerals (such as gold, platinum, or silver) to repair a broken (deformed) piece of pottery. (Did I mention that I'm literally in love with all things Japan? I even bought myself a Kintsugi bowl solely for the heck of it.) According to the University of Michigan, "the elegant repairs celebrate the age and history of the vessel, enhancing its beauty and marking it as a valued heirloom." The University of Texas at Austin's School of Architecture highlights how, "As part of wabi-sabi philosophy, this approach treats the breakage as a part of the history of the object, instead of something to hide."
Instead of seeing Kintsugi as an art form pertaining only to pottery, (like many) I believe that this practice can and should be related to life, and the art of discovering (and rediscovering) one's truth, peace, and soul. Question is, at what point should we begin the healing?
I do not believe that I can give anyone the correct answer for a specific time or point in their life. Just as I am growing and learning differently from you, our healing journey may begin at different points of our lives. The best part is that it will inadvertently happen when we seek to be who Christ has called us to be: the best versions of who we are.
Be mindful, first to heal, one must recognize and accept that they need mending. ( This post is probably the most thought-provoking post I've ever written; keep up with me, I promise to make sense.) Think about it, how do you know that you need a bandaid when you get a cut? You must see and feel and see that you have an incision in the beginning. Similarly, this event is how healing works. For us to heal from all, we must recognize that we have been altered, cut, manipulated, and hurt. You don't go around fixing something that you don't see a problem with.
Someone recently shared this saying with me: people do not judge what they understand. I'd like to add to it. People do not heal what they don't understand is broken. On Kintsugi, one must take a piece of pottery that they recognize is broken and know that its original form before they can even begin the joinery. We must acknowledge that we need healing to heal. And how do we do that?
I don't believe that we, ourselves, discover that we need healing. Nah bruh (and there goes my grammar yet again). It is our soul, our spirit that recognizes that something is not right. Similar to how our brain detects an injury in the communication between our nerves and mind, this is how the Spirit of the Lord that resides within us that sense and tells us, "hey, something is not right here." Once you know, the question is, do you allow the injury to continue (if it's a cut, will we enable the blood to keep seeping out of the cut in your skin) or do you accept that there is hurt so you may begin healing? Ask yourself, “how important is it for me to grow and heal?” That is where your answer will come from.
Therefore all those who devour you shall be devoured; And all your adversaries, every one of them, shall go into captivity; Those who plunder you shall become plunder, And all who prey upon you I will make a prey. For I will restore health to you And heal you of your wounds,’ says the Lord , ‘Because they called you an outcast saying: “This is Zion; No one seeks her.” ’ “Thus says the Lord : ‘Behold, I will bring back the captivity of Jacob’s tents, And have mercy on his dwelling places; The city shall be built upon its own mound, And the palace shall remain according to its own plan. Then out of them shall proceed thanksgiving And the voice of those who make merry; I will multiply them, and they shall not diminish; I will also glorify them, and they shall not be small. Their children also shall be as before, And their congregation shall be established before Me; And I will punish all who oppress them. Their nobles shall be from among them, And their governor shall come from their midst; Then I will cause him to draw near, And he shall approach Me; For who is this who pledged his heart to approach Me?’ says the Lord . ‘You shall be My people, And I will be your God.’ ” Behold, the whirlwind of the Lord Goes forth with fury, A continuing whirlwind; It will fall violently on the head of the wicked. The fierce anger of the Lord will not return until He has done it, And until He has performed the intents of His heart. In the latter days you will consider it.’
- Jeremiah 30:16-24 NKJV
Now, that is a loaded question that we must all ask ourselves and answer as honestly as possible. No person can answer this question for you, and no person should dictate your answer to these questions. Jot down the first answers that come to mind. Be real with yourself, trust me when I say that your transparency within your soul is the key to your growth throughout this process.
Next time, let's tackle the guilt and questions we come across when we realize we need healing and how it ties into self-care, self-love, and faith.
Until next time…
“Less Than Perfect.” Less Than Perfect | Kintsugi, exhibitions.kelsey.lsa.umich.edu/less-than-perfect/kintsugi.php.
“Kintsugi.” Informal-Brandmark-Inverse, soa.utexas.edu/headlines/kintsugi.
“Jeremiah 30:16-24 'Therefore All Those Who Devour You Shall Be Devoured; And All Your Adversaries, Every One of Them, Shall Go into Captivity; Those Who Plunder You Shall Become Plunder, And All Who Prey upon You I Wil: New King James Version (NKJV): Download The Bible App Now.” Jeremiah 30:16-24 'Therefore All Those Who Devour You Shall Be Devoured; And All Your Adversaries, Every One of Them, Shall Go into Captivity; Those Who Plunder You Shall Become Plunder, And All Who Prey upon You I Wil | New King James Version (NKJV) | Download The Bible App Now, my.bible.com/bible/114/JER.30.16-24.
Red Table Talk. “Red Table Talk on Instagram: ‘PREACH, #Ciara. 👏👏 RTT Fam: Have You Ever Found Yourself Stuck in a Situation That Was Making You Lose Yourself? How Did You Redeem...".” Instagram, 2019, www.instagram.com/p/ByTUfXtn7I3/?hl=en.
Pickett Smith, Jada. “Jada Pinkett Smith on Instagram: ‘Join Us Tomorrow at the Red Table with @Ciara for Some Girl Talk about ... Transforming Emotional Scars to .... Beauty Marks❣️ #Redtabletalk.’” Instagram, 2019, www.instagram.com/jadapinkettsmith/p/ByOOCTWDylU/.