Make Your Life Beautiful By Embracing Your Flaws

Photo by Free To Use Sounds on Unsplash

In the current climate of instant gratification, the semi-anonymity of the Internet, and camera filters that can make us appear to be anyone that we desire to be, we must look back instead of forward to be truly fulfilled.

The Japanese art of kintsugi, which translates to “golden joinery” is the repair of broken pottery with lacquer dusted or mixed with powdered gold, silver, or platinum. Thus giving the broken areas extra value and recognization of the beauty of its history.

In this life we’re born anew within each moment, but though we may be reborn in each moment everything that makes us who we are is constantly on display. Scars, tattoos, handwriting, facial expressions, our choice of words, all as unique and identifiable as a snowflake or fingerprint. Make your flaws golden and they then become an asset.

“And this film we once saw was reviled for its flaws, but it’s flaws were what made us have fun.”-Okkervil River “Singer Songwriter”

The human condition doesn’t lend itself to perfection, there are just too many variables at play each second. Perfection is a slippery eel that is always just out of grasp, until you’re finally able to touch it, shocking you as it is immediately gone again. In that hopeless moment of loss, you must make the best of the situation. Whatever part of your pursuit failed you, you must then accept the loss of perfection and make the flaw beautiful. Reveal, the history and character, by accentuating the perceived negative and making it beautiful. In life, this is often called “making the best of the situation.”

“I never thought it was such a bad little tree. It’s not bad at all, really. Maybe it just needs a little love.”- Linus, “A Charlie Brown Christmas”

In Japanese folklore, Izanami is both the goddess of death and creation. In much the same way that destruction leads to rebuilding. Better, stronger, and more pleasing. When life isn’t going your way you have two options: let it destroy you completely or weather the storm and then rebuild. In much the same way that you can use the lacquer and gold flake to repair the vase, you can observe the reason for the destruction and then formulate a plan to rebuild both stronger and more appealing. Things aren’t always going to go right, but that doesn’t mean that they will always go wrong either. Learn, repair, improve.

“We are flawed creatures, all of us. Some of us think that means we should fix our flaws. But get rid of my flaws and there would be no one left.”-Sarah Vowell, “Take the Cannoli”

There’s a certain beauty in flaws and the history that they reveal. The Grand Canyon is itself a flaw of nature. A beautiful defect carved into the earth over millions of years by the Colorado River. Such is your life, layer upon layer exposed by your history, your choices, your actions. Embrace the Grand Canyon of your life, the flaws that create it, and the beauty that it reveals.

Your flaws after all are a sacred space, uniquely your own, and gives the contrast needed to create a full perspective.

Photo by Sonaal Bangera on Unsplash

Kintsugi is somewhat related to wabi-sabi; imperfect, incomplete, and transient. Such is life. We borrow these physical bodies on the short term loans. Flawed, always searching for more, and fleeting.

In that regard we are little more than raindrops over the ocean, flailing headlong through time and space in search of some ethereal acceptance. Our flaws make life interesting and beautiful. Embrace the imperfection of the here and now. Choose to live, flaws, and all.

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JMN

JMN

✦Lifelong Martial Artist ✦Musician. ✦Thinker. Philosopher. ✦Religion/Spirituality. Shintō/Buddhist. ✦Seeker of Truth and Knowledge ✦ Writer for ILLUMINATION