Kintsugi : The Beauty of Breaking

金繕い : to repair with gold.


Breaking Is Brave

Unless tragedy happens or we are too young to understand the world around us, in most cases we experience being broken when we’ve taken a risk. We launched a startup, we went into a relationship, we shared our work, and it didn’t work out. Our idea failed, our person got rejected and our work criticized. In many cases, this leads to a feeling of breaking apart. Everything we had imagined, hoped for and expected of our future and ourselves is torn away from under us and we lose our sense of ground and security. A couple of days of crying or feeling numb will at least result, but the consequences can be more severe too. In the case of my first heartbreak, an identity crisis ensued, and I don’t think that’s a rare occurrence.

© Christopher Nolen (2005), Batman Begins

Breaking Is Beautiful

So as tough as it is to break, it is usually these experiences that shape who we become — as said, in both positive and negative ways, depending on our mindset. If handled with care, we can turn those painful experiences into moments of intense growth, becoming richer and wiser people. Our scars give witness to what we have been through and to the fact that we survived it — and maybe even made the most of it.

© Bill Watterson

Breaking Is Bold

In a world optimized for instant gratification and build on old systems of linear growth, breaking is a bold path to take. For those in search of quantum leaps, breakdowns are an unavoidable part of the journey. Exponential growth on a personal level will only happen if you from time to time allow yourself to fall apart from old identity structures holding you imprisoned in outdated frameworks. It is not without reason that a hero needs a crisis to reach the point of no return that will turn her into the hero she was born to become.

© Otto C. Scharmer (2018), The Essentials of Theory U, p. 23

Last Thoughts

Perhaps this sounds like romanticizing breakdowns. That is definitely not the purpose of this article. Breakdowns hurt like hell and for those who have enough on their plate already, I would not suggest seeking them out without any professional guidance. For those of us who can afford it, however, I see an immense gain in pursuing experiences that hold the risk of breaking down. It makes us more alive, moves us closer to our full potential, and gives us scars golden if we see the value of being broken and the developmental opportunity.

Passionate imperfectionist, life artist, human.

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