Kintsugi living is about finding the treasure in our scars as we heal from life's broken places.
In a culture that is fixated on thinking positively, it sounds like just one more exercise in finding the silver lining, seeing the bright side, and staying positive in the face of hardship.
In fact, that interpretation misses the real point.
Kintsugi living is really about reclaiming our power of choice by claiming our power to choose our response to life's broken places.
This matters because life's broken places come not only with the pain of whatever we've lost in what has broken apart in our lives, but also with the trauma of having no control over what is happening to us.
Our lives shatter in those moments in ways that leave us powerless to do anything to stop the breaking apart or to control the rubble raining down on us in its aftermath.
That powerlessness is as much a part of the overall grief and trauma of the losses we are facing as the actual losses themselves.
It's at moments like these that reclaiming our power of choice matters most.
We may have no choice about the brokenness, no choice about the cascading impacts of the brokenness throughout our lives, and no choice about the damage done by it all, but we do have the power to choose what we do in the aftermath of that brokenness.
We don't have to stay in that place of brokenness. We can choose to heal and rebuild our lives out of the rubble.
We don't have to allow the brokenness to make us smaller. We can choose to use it as fuel for growth.
We don't have to let the broken place define us. We can choose to allow our healing and growth define us instead.
In those moments when the broken places in our lives are making us feel like we have no choices left at all, that's precisely when the power of choice that kintsugi living offers matters most of all.
Kintsugi living continually reminds us that we always have the power of choice—that we always have the power to hope and to choose the way forward—by reminding us of our power to choose healing and growth even in the most painful, challenging, and broken places of our lives.
But that doesn't make it a passive exercise looking on the bright side or finding the positive.
It's a much more active and powerful exercise than that. It's developing a fierce determination to hold to our power to choose to heal and grow no matter what life throws at us—not because that's the positive thing to do, but because we are committed to being survivors who are creating the people we will become every moment of every day.
And deep down inside, don't we all want to be better, more expansive, more whole versions of ourselves?
The next time you feel pressured to find the silver lining in your broken places or to think positively about your situation or to focus only on the good, I challenge you to take a step back and focus on your choices for action instead.
In claiming your power to choose healing and growth for the future, you may find that choosing to focusing on the positives help you do that or you may find that what you really need is to focus on the wounds for a time to help clean them out and let them heal.
What matters is your fierce determination to grow and heal more than the specific methods for getting there.
When you're focused on that power to choose the person you are becoming and the life you are creating out of the rubble, you are empowering yourself to take back control over your life to create a better future.
That's what kintsugi living is really all about.
If you'd like to receive more inspiration and encouragement for living your own kintsugi life, subscribe to get weekly notifications of new blog posts in your inbox.