The Beauty Of Our Flaws

Yesterday my therapist introduced me to “Kintsugi” or “Kintsukuroi” which is the art of repairing pottery with a substance that is laced with metals/gold so that it highlights the cracks instead of hides them.


This is something I don’t think I realized I was doing, but that I think has been instrumental in helping me break through my social anxieties. For example, I joke a lot on Facebook about my social ineptitudes, mainly because I want them out in the open so that when I inevitably screw things up…no one is surprised. I get names wrong ALL OF THE TIME and I disclose the many MANY times I’ve embarrassed myself so that maybe when I mess up someone’s name, they’ll take it less personally because I’ve been open about my problems with using names incorrectly.

This idea of Kintsugi works really well in reference to my problem with getting names wrong because, truthfully, I have terrible stories about getting names wrong because of how many times I get names right. I like to use people’s names as often as possible because I feel it gives an extra connection that makes me more at ease in a social situation. It’s a stabilizing force when I use someone’s name, like a reminder: YOU KNOW THIS PERSON, DO NOT PANIC.

So, getting their names wrong is actually a flaw aligned with a very good habit of just using names in general. So it’s actually part of a more beautiful quality and highlighting that one flaw – the times I fail – just adds beauty to the trait all together: Of me making social connections by using people’s names.

I like this much better than trying to pretend it never happens, OR WORSE, giving up using names all together to keep it from happening again. NO. That would be fixing the crack but hiding it. Instead, I’m finding beauty in the entire piece of pottery and seeing that the flaw of using the wrong name can be a beautiful part of a lovely work of art.

But also I like the idea that even as we work on some of the “flaws” in our pottery, we don’t have to hide that they were ever there. This is again, something I like to openly discuss because I feel like it helps me make connections. Pretending I’m perfect has never helped me make friends. Bonding over ineptitudes has. The majority of my good friends and I connect a lot over our own social anxieties. I even joked with one friend recently about an expo we were both working at and we both kinda admitted we were VERY overwhelmed by the entire thing (SO MANY PEOPLE!) and how I stayed behind my table the whole time and she noticed and told me she was jealous because that’s all she wanted to do. Before that day? I considered her an acquaintance, but now? I consider her a friend. Bonding over our own flaws opens a vulnerability that I think really helps form connections.

I just love the idea that perfection is not the goal. We want to function, we want to hold water, so problems need to be address that impede functioning at a human level. But they don’t have to be hidden. We fix what can help us hold water better, but we don’t have to hide it.

I’ve not been very present lately. I’ve been the opposite. I’ve been disconnecting from my family and my life a lot just because I’m tired. Not just physically (although I’ve not been getting more than 5 hours of sleep a night for a week) but emotionally. I’m just frazzled with this general feeling that I’m not on a path that will help me make the world better. I’m kinda just stuck in this mundane existence, trying to sell my house, trying to raise my kids, trying not to be so overwhelmed that I jump off a bridge, but GLOBALLY, I’m doing nothing. And that has me retreating a bit into this disconnected existence so that I don’t have to think too much about that.

But I really want to be more present. I want to be more DELIBERATE. I want to connect more instead of less. I want to find inspiration. I want to feel that even if I’m not feeding the poor or medicating the sick or saving the planet, I’m still doing something in my tiny world to add positive energy.

So I fill my cracks with gold and I try to hold water again so that I can at least nourish the people around me for a moment. And maybe they’ll be the ones that make the world better until I find a path that allows me to join in.

4 thoughts on “The Beauty Of Our Flaws”

  1. I love the play-by-play with your therapist since I can’t afford to go right now. 🙂 I’m reading two books right now that are informing my own journey through shame and guilt — Codependent No More by Melody Beattie (excellent!) and Necessary Endings by Henry Cloud (fascinating!). I am shocked and dismayed to find I might be a tad codependent but relieved that I am not nearly as crazy as I feel. Beattie provides great guidance for walking out of the crazy. I am encouraged by Cloud’s research and work on the positive nature of endings/seasons/cycles in life. I tend to believe that just because I am in a hard season, it will *always* be just like this, which feels impossibly difficult, but that is stinkin’ thinkin’. Cloud walks readers through how to identify and execute shame-free endings in all areas of life, with his primary focus being work, relationships, and voluntary commitments. I think you would like it. 🙂

  2. What a beautiful concept, and a beautiful post. Thank you for sharing.

  3. You are helping the world. That piece of trash you picked up while marking trails: that helped the world. That blue bin that goes to the curb each week, that helps the world. Any contributions you make , help the world. Your smile may lift someone out of their funk. You help people through your blog on a daily basis by being real and vulnerable. You are making more of an impact than you think

  4. Exactly what Beth said. You have helped me numerous times with your blog. And you made me think about the negative energy I put out into the world and to want to try to put out more positive energy instead.

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