Life has been unkind to you as of late. I see that you are suffering and it hurts me to know that you are suffering. You don’t know what to do. Your thoughts spin. You see and feel the dark, the bad, the unfairness, and the hurt. You have every right to be hurt. You didn’t deserve this, but here we are. Your metaphorical bowl dropped off the table and it is broken. I see you. I am you.
You keep asking: “Why?” and “WHY??” and “What could I have done to prevent this?” You are stuck on trying to turn back time, to make the bowl unbreak. You are desperate to understand. You have so many questions…but there are often no answers. Maybe you blame yourself, or maybe you feel guilt, wishing that you could go back and change things that happened before the bowl broke.
No amount of questioning, nor guilt, worry, self-loathing, nor regret will unbreak the bowl.
You can continue to look at the broken bowl and exclaim that it is broken. You are right … it is broken. You can say how upset you are that the bowl is broken. It is upsetting. You can say that it isn’t fair that the bowl is broken. It isn’t fair. Still, none of these thoughts will help clean up the broken pieces, nor allow you to eat soup out of the bowl come dinner time.
Maybe you feel you aren’t ready to clean up the shards? Maybe you want to dissect what happened a bit longer so that it won’t ever happen again? OK.
What if you could remake the bowl? What if you had everything you need, right now to help clean up the mess? What if you could stop thinking about the “Why?” and the “Why me?”? Wouldn’t it feel great to move forward and give yourself the illusion of progress (or actual progress)?
There is an Ancient Kintsugi quote that says: “The true life of the bowl began the moment it was dropped.” What if, like in the Japanese art form of Kintsugi, we can put the bowl back together, filling all of the cracks with gold? Granted, it will not be the same bowl … it will be different, but it will be beautifully different.
What’s the bowl? What’s the gold to heal your broken bowl? Both are your thoughts, and your faith in your thoughts.
(No way! It can’t be that easy!? … Can it?)
Our circumstances do not dictate our joy; our thoughts about our circumstances do. (Reread that).
If you say you are miserable, you will be miserable. If you keep thinking about the void in your life, you will continue to see the void in your life. Bad things have happened in your life in the past and you quickly contextualized them, learned from them, and moved forward. Now is no different.
No matter what happens to us, or around us, we have the power to decide how we will let it affect us. We can choose to focus on the hole in the middle of the doughnut or we can focus on the delicious doughnut itself. The hole does not go away, but we shift our focus to the shiny chocolate glaze.
Honour your breaks, your scars, and your voids. They got you here… but they don’t determine where you can go from here. Something bad has happened, but remember, you aren’t the bowl. You aren’t broken. You simply forgot that you are, have always been, and will always be enough for the right people exactly as you are. You forgot that you’ve had a great life, and will continue to have a great life. Nothing can stop you.
We don’t have to let the world happen to us, we can go out and happen to the world. We can be bold, brave, and vulnerable, knowing that even if our bowl chips, cracks, breaks, or shatters again, its perfect imperfections will only come back filled with more gold. (Take this from someone who has a lot of gold in her bowl shining as brightly as she allows.)
Please send this column to someone who you think could use this reminder. (And yes, you can send it to me, because we all need a reminder of the power of our thoughts and words.)