Broken and More Beautiful in the New Year
The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places.
– Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms
I have mixed feelings about New Year’s resolutions. On the one hand, what’s the harm, even if most are broken? On the other hand … well, most are broken! But resolutions or not, a new year and a new calendar presents an opportunity to reflect back and plan forward.
Finding Beauty in Being Broken
As you reflect back, it might not be all warm and comforting. Maybe there are decisions, events, or words spoken that conjure up only a sense of regret. I learned recently about Kintsugi which means “golden joinery” in Japanese. It is the art of repairing broken pottery with lacquer dusted or mixed with powdered gold, silver, or platinum. As a philosophy, it treats breakage and repair as part of the history and beauty of an object, rather than something to disguise.
I loved this concept. Our mistakes and failures contribute to a greater understanding of ourselves and others. They shape us perhaps more profoundly than our successes. When I looked up some photos, I had to admit that the objects which embraced the breakage were far more interesting, with more character and beauty even, than the original would have been.
Learning From Being Broken in the New Year
I’ve written about this before, but I think it’s worth thinking about how we treat the failures. Do we slam the door on them, hoping they never show their faces again? Do we wallow in them and allow them to completely define who we are? Or do we take them out, examine them and grieve them for a while, identify the fault lines and what contributed to the breakage, and then repair them into the shape and beauty of who we are? Perhaps in 2018, we can do so with the gold of insight, the platinum of forgiveness for ourselves and others, and a touch of silver of hope for the future.
Wishing us all wisdom,
Deborah Bennett Berecz is a collaborative divorce lawyer at Berecz & Associates, PLC, with offices in St. Joseph, and Grand Rapids, Michigan. She helps broken couples dissolve their marriages without a contentious legal battle. Contact us to learn more about collaborative practice or to schedule a consultation today.