The moon has always fascinated me. It generates no light of its own, but its gentle reflection of the sun's light can make such a big difference in my ability to see the world around me in the middle of a dark night.
When I'm in the middle of a "dark night" of grief or loss or some other form of life's brokenness, it's often hard for me to see myself or my life very clearly because my pain looms larger than life.
In those times, hope of healing and better tomorrow is one of the few things that lights my way just enough for me to keep moving forward, but hope can be hard to come by in those dark places in life.
In fact, the direct shine of hope into my life at those times is part of what makes them so dark. I find my hope instead in the reflections of hope's light from the lives of others, and those reflections come directly from their scars that tell of their own healing.
There is nothing so encouraging to me when I'm struggling than hearing the story of someone who's been through something similar and has come out the other side as a survivor.
When I've lost sight of my own hope, the hope I see reflected in their story of healing gives me just enough light to keep working toward my own renewed healing and wholeness. In moments like that, the reflections of hope I catch in their stories are not a luxury, but a necessity for survival.
I don't think I'm alone in that. Stories of the challenges in life that others have survived are popular for a reason. It's not because we love to read of other people suffering, but because we long for the hope and encouragement found in the fact that they survived that suffering.
It gives us hope that we can do the same.
And yet, in our daily lives most of us do everything we can to hide our scars, to pretend that we've never been hurt, to act as though we have never been wounded or crushed by life. We don't want to appear vulnerable to others.
Ironic, isn't it, that we work so hard the very thing that offers the greatest hope to those around us who might need it most?
Kintsugi living offers a different approach to life. Instead of hiding our scars, we intentionally find the treasure to be found on those healed places and allow that treasure and that healing to shine as a reflection of hope for others.
That doesn't mean, of course, that we keep ourselves stuck in whatever place of life's brokenness we encountered. The goal is not to define ourselves by the broken places in life that we have encountered.
Rather it's about being so consciously engaged with our healing and the gifts that healing offers that we are comfortable with letting them show. It's being willing to lower our guard enough to let the scars that are the signs that we have healed be seen. It's allowing our story be a reflection of hope for others.
We don't become that hope. We don't take responsibility for their healing. We aren't in charge of the decisions they might make about how to handle their suffering. It's not our job to take away their pain or make them feel better.
What we can do is offer the reflected light of hope that comes from our own story of healing and allow them to do with that what they will. It often feels like so little, but that compassionate gift of hope is more precious than we imagine.
How have the stories of others' healing brought hope to your life that has helped you make your way through difficult times?
How comfortable are you with letting other people see your scars or sharing your stories of healing?
What might help you be more comfortable allowing your scars to be reflection of hope for others? What would that look like for you?
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