There are many things that happen to us in life that can make us feel broken: trauma, abuse, loss, betrayal, and more.
Yet one of the biggest sources of these feelings of brokenness that many of us don't even recognize is ourselves. Yes, we contribute to our own feelings of brokenness without even being aware that we are doing it!
We lop off some part of ourselves here thinking it's defective.
We cut away another part of who we are there because we've decided it's unacceptable.
We carve off yet another piece over there for being unworthy in our opinion.
We amputate one more piece somewhere else for being ugly to us.
We do it with good intent, firmly believing that we are making ourselves better.
We believe the messages we've been told about parts of ourselves are not good enough, broken, unacceptable, defective, ugly, objectionable, or unwanted, and we act on those beliefs in attempts to make ourselves more acceptable to others.
That's a logical, natural thing to do, but what we don't see in the moment is the damage we do to ourselves as we angrily attempt to cut these pieces away.
In our very attempts to make ourselves more acceptable (thinking that it will make us more loved), we actually give those parts of ourselves that we dislike more power over us instead of less.
Because no part of ourselves can ever be totally eliminated, our attempts to hack off our unwanted parts only pushes them from our conscious self into our shadows where they control us without our awareness. (Think of the way unacknowledged, suppressed anger eventually explodes like an uncontrolled volcano.)
Of course, as these parts that we think we've amputated for good raise their heads from the shadows to act out yet again, we become even more convinced of our defectiveness, our unacceptability, and our unworthiness. We become even more convinced that we are broken.
The good news is that this process is something that we have total and complete control over.
We can make the choice at any moment to stop labeling pieces and parts of ourselves as defective, ugly, unworthy, or broken. We can choose not to believe the messages we've received from others or from our culture that we are not good enough.
We can choose to welcome back those lopped off bits of ourselves from the shadows, and we can re-integrate all of who we are into our conscious welcome.
Does that mean that we can't choose to improve how we treat others? Or that we can't work to modify our behavior or patterns or habits?
Absolutely not! But there's a huge difference with working consciously and lovingly with parts of ourselves to become the best self we can be and trying to cut away parts of ourselves that we find unacceptable.
Any part of ourselves that we approach with love and compassion is more likely to soften and shift than a part of ourselves we attack and attempt to amputate.
The first step is noticing where we have bought into the idea that some part of ourselves is bad, unworthy, defective, broken, or unacceptable. Once we see it, then we can start unraveling that belief and learning to lovingly welcome that abandoned part of ourselves back home.
What parts of yourself have you tried to amputate?
What pieces of who you are have you learned to label as bad, unworthy, defective, broken, or unacceptable?
What would it look like to learn to lovingly welcome those parts of yourselves back home?
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