Brooke Cadett, craftivate
Find beauty in brokenness…
I am a perfectionist, maybe even a touch OCD. When I was in college I had a roommate who teased me about the way I would perfectly stack, spine to spine and color coordinate the books on my desk or was constantly rearranging the picture frames on my dresser. Everything had to be aligned perfectly and everything had a place. If something was tilted by a few degrees, or pushed back even just a millimeter, I knew it and I HAD TO FIX it. But what I find funny about this is that she was the first person in 20 years, to ever point this out to me, and I had never given it a thought. It was just part of me…
- and then 10 years flew by - and the addition of 2 (amazing) kiddos -
Since those days, my compulsion for perfection has been brought to my attention on many occasions - thankyouverymuch - and I struggle, like heart racing, jaw clenching, filled with anxiety struggle when 99 Hot Wheels are dumped all over the playroom floor (and you know I just stepped on one of them), on top of what may have been at one time a banana, barely recognizable now turned to sticky brown mush, and please don't tell me that's Sharpie all over the freshly painted wall! AhHhHHhh!!! -- Insert cup of chamomile tea here -- but, I'm learning to cope (deep breath, downward dog, namaste). And about those 200,000,000 tiny play dough crumbs hanging out on the dining room table: I've learned it is easier to wait and sweep them up once they're dry, than it is to try to scrub the colorful modeling medium from every nook and cranny (seriously, it's like the water activates a superglue-like defense mechanism in that stuff). News-flash: Kids change everything! Having kids has not only made me stop and accept, but maybe even (gasp) appreciate the crazy, chaotic brokenness in my life; even if it's simply because I just can't keep up, but also because that brokenness means memories were made, time was spent and resources were well utilized.
There's something about a good mess that lets you know something went right. Proof that creativity was looming and inspiration was knocking. Sawdust blowing around in the garage, a pile of building blocks strone across the playroom floor, or that beautiful finger painting hanging on the refrigerator, complemented by paint on your floor, on your daughter's favorite sundress, in her hair and on the dog; there's beauty in that. There is beauty in that inhibition, satisfaction in the process and appreciation in knowing that you accomplished something - perhaps less than perfect - but nonetheless beautiful. Own it.
I recently read an article about an ancient Japanese practice, a technique called kintsugi, in which cracked or broken pottery was repaired using gold dust. Rather than trying to hide the flaws in the broken ceramics, they would celebrate them, highlighting them in gold, and making the piece more valuable. It was considered more beautiful because it was broken! I kinda love this idea, especially if we relate it back to people. None of us are whole. None of us are perfect. We are cracked, chipped, broken, and (eventually) mended. But the cracks, the chips and broken pieces are part of our stories. They make us unique, they make our lives valuable.
Another 10 years from now, I'm not going to remember the 99 Hot Wheels on the floor. I'm going to think about my son; string bean legs, sun-bleached hair, and tiny fingers clasped around his dad's old race car as he drove it around the house making "vroom" sounds while chasing his screaming sister. And I'm not going to remember how frustrating and thoroughly exhausting it was to get my stubborn-like-her-mama daughter to sleep through the night. I'll look back with an aching fondness remembering the nights I spent cuddling her, pacing back and forth on the creaky hardwood, bouncing rhythmically and rocking her to sleep, because I was the only one who could bring her that comfort. That's the beauty. These aren't perfect, 90 degree, squared away and colored within the lines moments, but damn…they are beautiful, aren't they? …my beautiful, broken messes.
So let's embrace the broken! Watch yourself on the rough edges and turn those cracks into beautiful memories.
Here's to hoping you're living a beautifully broken life! XO
Oh, and by the way, have you been introduced to Lisa Leonard? She is an amazing, inspiring artist and mom who is all about keeping an open heart and embracing our brokenness. Definitely check out her blog and give her a shout!