About a year ago I was going through a rough time in my life, probably a lot worse than I ever lead on. During this time I was confiding in my family while trying to keep my head above the seemingly rising body of water I had found myself in. It wasn’t until one day I spoke to my Uncle Michael and he opened my eyes up to something that has absolutely changed my world.
The idea itself is hard to fully comprehend, and being in the place I was in didn’t really help my cause and it is probably the reason why it’s taken me so long to understand it. This philosophy started out as an old Japanese craft, taking broken clay pots and filling the cracks with gold. This not only made the pots functional again but their value skyrocketed. Soon this craft became the philosophy I now live my life by. The philosophy itself is defined as:
(n.) a way of living that focuses on finding beauty within imperfections of life and accepting peacefully the natural cycle of growth and decay
I was struggling so much with my state of mind and view of myself, that I was only able to listen to the concept and not fully comprehend and live it.
I spent hours on my dorm room floor trying to watch documentaries (which are very hard to find) on this concept to better grasp it. I spent days trying to re-explain it to my roommate who at first thought I was having a mental lapse and obsessing over wasabi, and I spent months trying to learn how to have Wabi-sabi “fix” me.
It wasn’t until the past few months, more importantly in recent weeks I fully and utterly accepted Wabi-sabi as part of my lifestyle.
I have cracks all over. Whether they’re in my heart, on the outer layers of my skin, or even cracks in my state of thought, they are all over. Freshman year I decided the best way to fill my cracks was to have fun. Although being carefree with friends definitely made it easier, I wasn’t truly seeing the beauty within my imperfections.
With my failed attempts aside, I sort of accepted I would never truly grasp this philosophy, until a few weeks ago. I experienced a moment I was so blissfully happy I can only describe it as loving myself. I found myself admiring and being so pleased with who I was I felt pure happiness. How sad is it that such a happy moment came alongside with something I should have been able to do all along? I learned the only way to love my imperfections I have either created in my mind or seen in society, is to love myself.
As extremely cliché as this all may seem, I truly do feel that I’m worth so much more since I have started viewing myself this way. I am pushing myself to do things I could have never imagined. I am setting goals that I know will strain me to reach, but most importantly, I am living my life happy…the way we were all meant to live.
Given we all have our days, the dreaded Monday don’t cease to get me down just because I have found peace with myself. I don’t get off scot-free from the inevitable drama, and you best bet I don’t look into the mirror and admire straggling eyebrow hairs or pimples that have found themselves a new home. But, because of this new mindset I don’t find myself hating every little bit about myself, every day of the week.
My uncle taught me an important lesson a year ago, one I didn’t realize at the time. He taught me how to work towards loving myself… and because of him, I feel the way I do today.
Fulfilled. Loved. Thankful
Uncle Michael – thank you for teaching me how to fill the unstable cracks in my life that I was unsure how to balance. Love you always.