The breaking of the different parts of me

Posted by Kenetha Stanton on

Kintsugi repaired black agate and quartz stone heart pendant on black cotton cord

The most recent episode in my YouTube series on the breaking and repairing different kinds of stones with kintsugi covered these unusual heart-shaped stones that are a mix of black agate and quartz.

While the comparison of the ways these two different stone types break—even in the context of what appears to be a single stone—is fascinating to observe, what struck me even more powerfully is how much I am like these stones.

I think of myself as a single, whole entity as I move through life, but the reality is that I'm more like a whole host of different personalities all sharing the space, much like this stone is a mix of stone types.

There's always a bit of tension between these different parts of myself.

The perfectionist me and the lazy me seldom see eye-to-eye about how much work really needs to be done on a project.

The Eeyore me and the perpetual optimist me have very different perceptions of my reality much of the time.

The creative me and the analytical me get into arguments about the feasibility (and cost!) of trying new things.

I'm used to living within this tension and negotiating my way through life with the input and help (and sometimes resistance) of these different parts of myself without really thinking of them as different parts of me. It's all just me with all my weird contradictions and quirks.

What really highlights these parts of me as different is when life takes a metaphorical hammer and gives me a good whack.

While I may feel like my whole world (and my whole self) is crumbling and broken, the truth is that depending on what kind of hammer blow it was and where it lands, different parts of me "break" in different ways.

A major financial blow may send my analytical self into overdrive trying to figure out a way to resolve the crisis, while my creative self crumbles in fear that pursuing my creativity is too expensive and risky.

A betrayal may leave my perpetual optimist self gasping with what feels like dying breaths, while the Eeyore me surges to the forefront to color my whole world grey with hopelessness.

Some parts of me crumble (like the quartz part of this stone). Some parts of me shear off in clean cuts (like the agate part of this stone). Some parts of me hold strong. Some parts shut down altogether.

As I've thought about this way of seeing my experience over this last week as I've worked on this particular video, I've realized that it's a helpful way of viewing my experience because it helps me see which parts of myself need the most help, which parts I can rely on to help carry me through, and which parts may need to be reined in a bit to keep them from creating new issues.

As much as I feel like one solid person, my experience of my reality is actually made up of all of these many parts of me in continual conversation with one another. Knowing these parts of me well enough to intentionally keep them all in view as I go through difficult times can guide and balance my response and my experience of those times in much healthier ways than my current tendency to focus only on whatever part of me is screaming the loudest.

Each of these parts of me have something to offer and each of these parts of me needs tending and care. The example of this black agate and quartz broken heart with its kintsugi repairs gives me an image to help me remember to do that tending.

Do you recognize these different parts within yourself?

Have you had the experience of having some parts of yourself crumble while other parts hold strong to get you through?

What parts of you do you tend to pay the most attention to? What other parts of yourself may need some tending and care?

How does thinking of your experience this way change the way you might react to difficult times in the future?


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