It’s ok to break

I recently came across something that declared “It’s ok to break,” and it struck me so powerfully that I haven’t been able to get it out of my mind. I no longer remember where I saw it or what else it might have said, but that phrase has stuck.

As much as I talk about brokenness in my work as a kintsugi artist, I’ve never actually given myself such powerful, direct permission to break.

Why would I even want that? Isn’t breaking a bad thing? Something to avoid at all costs?

Not necessarily. I’d argue that in some cases, letting ourselves break is the healthiest thing we can do.

Of course, before I go further with this, let me clarify what I mean by broken. I’ve written before about the three types of brokenness: inherent brokenness, imposed brokenness, and invited brokenness.

When I talk about brokenness as people, I’m never talking about inherent brokenness. You are not broken. And even in those times when you feel broken, broken is not who you are. Ever.

Despite that, there are times when life breaks our hearts, when parts of our lives break apart, or when we feel broken by the losses, traumas, and calamities life brings our way. Most of us have been trained by our culture to avoid displaying any form of breaking down or breaking apart in any way, though.

So we keep a stiff upper lip, try to hide the fractures forming in our facade, and try to keep plowing through life and our usual routines as if there’s nothing wrong. When we do this and try to suppress the brokenness we are feeling, we extend our suffering and make it harder to heal.

We have to acknowledge that something broken before we can do anything to heal from it!

That’s where this permission to break feels so powerful. We don’t have to try to hold it all together when our lives are falling apart.

Sometimes the best thing we can do is let it fall apart so we can start afresh with only the pieces that are worth saving.

It may be that there are things we need to let go in order to make room for better things.

We may need to let our facade crack and crumble so that our real selves can walk free of the masks and pretenses.

It’s ok to break when we need to.

“Never be ashamed about being broken because strength is nothing but pain that’s been repaired.” ~Trent Sheldon

Feeling broken is not fun, but it’s also not an evil to be avoided or anything to be ashamed of. Allowing ourselves to break so that we can heal and grow allows us to develop gifts of kintsugi gold through that healing rather than staying stuck in our suffering.

If you are in a place of trying to hide the cracks you are feeling in your life or heart, if you are in pain and are trying to pretend that everything is ok, let me offer you the same permission. It’s ok to break.

It’s ok to not be ok for a while as you do what you need to in order to heal. It’s ok to let the pieces drop until you are ready to put them back together in a new form. It’s ok to give yourself time to heal.

It’s ok to break.

 

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4 thoughts on “It’s ok to break

  • October 4, 2023 at 9:46 am
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    Thank you for this. I will share. I needed to read this today. Thank you.

    • October 4, 2023 at 9:51 am
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      I’m so glad you found it helpful! May healing come quickly for whatever is feeling broken right now for you.

  • October 4, 2023 at 10:43 am
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    thanks, i am at that point… thanks

    • October 4, 2023 at 11:06 am
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      You’re welcome. I hope it helps, and I hope healing comes your way quickly.

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