The Happiness Connection  

Don't hide your brokenness

Can you remember a time when you or someone else broke an ornament or some pottery that you really loved? 

Last Christmas I knocked a piece of my German village off the shelf in my front hall. As I bent down to retrieve it, I said a little prayer for it to be in one piece. That wasn’t the case. 

I sighed and reminded myself that it was only an object. It wouldn’t be easy to replace, because I had collected it and the rest of the village when I visited the Christmas markets in Hamburg. 

I consoled myself with a reminder that I still had the rest of the village. It was OK that there wouldn’t be a gluvine stand anymore.

I try not to get too attached to things. I recognize they are only objects and accidents happen. 

I looked at the pieces in my hand. They weren’t tiny shards. Maybe I could glue the heads and other separated parts back on. If I were careful enough, I might even be able to hide that it had fallen at all.

This reminds me of the attitude many people, including myself, have towards life. Things happen. We get scars, bruises, breaks, and wrinkles. How do we deal with them? We try to patch them, so they don’t show.

The same thing happens to mental and emotional wounds. We try to bury them and pretend they aren’t there.

Perfection is celebrated in all sorts of ways in our society. In the world of antiques and collectables, the closer something is to being in perfect condition, the more it is worth. 

At school, we value top marks over effort and learning, even though research shows that how well you do in school does not predict the success you will have in life. 

Wrinkles, scars, and physical deformities tend to be viewed with sighs and sadness. We want to be perfect. Aging is fine, as long as we don’t look like we’ve aged. 

Imagine how different life would be if everyone stopped trying to be perfect. What does even that even mean? Who decides what perfect is?

“What is normal for the spider, is chaos for the fly.”

— Morticia Adams

I think you could also say, “What is perfect for the spider, is imperfect for the fly.”

We have learned to try to piece ourselves back together well enough, that the resulting scars are camouflaged. The goal is to look unchanged, unless of course we judge the change to be a positive one.

Perhaps instead of modeling our personal repairing techniques on the perfection model, we should be following the Japanese art of Kintsugi. 

This is a technique used to fix broken pottery, but instead of trying to hide the cracks and flaws, it highlights them. Pieces are joined with a special tree sap mixed with powdered gold, silver, or platinum. 

The fractures are emphasized and made beautiful instead of being hidden. What was once broken and could easily have been discarded, is given a second life. The resulting piece is often more valuable than before it was damaged.

To embrace this philosophy, you may need to uncover the person at the centre of the camouflage and repairs.

Aristotle said, “Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.”

I believe that knowing yourself is also the beginning of confidence, resilience, strong connections, happiness, success, and health. 

If you want to begin or continue a journey of self-discovery, I invite you to check out the new membership site that is launching on Friday.

ReConnect. Is designed to help you rediscover who you are, what you want, and your own unique formula for happiness, health, success, and abundance.

If this sounds like something you might be interested in, please check out the links below:

ReConnect  – Find out more

Making Good Decisions – Free online teaching session

More The Happiness Connection articles

About the Author

Reen Rose is an experienced, informative, and engaging speaker, author, and educator. She has worked for over three decades in the world of education, teaching children and adults in Canada and England.

Research shows that happy people are better leaders, more successful, and healthier than their unhappy counterparts, and yet so many people still believe that happiness is a result of their circumstances.

Happiness is a choice. Reen’s presentations and workshops are designed to help you become robustly happy. This is her term for happiness that can withstand challenge and change.

Reen blends research-based expertise, storytelling, humour, and practical strategies to both inform and inspire. She is a Myers Briggs certified practitioner, a Microsoft Office certified trainer and a qualified and experienced teacher.

Email Reen at [email protected]

Check out her websites at www.ReenRose.com, or www.ModellingHappiness.com

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

Previous Stories