Midweek Musings-7

Mid Week Musings
Have you ever struggled to change something that you didn’t like about yourself and felt frustrated that you couldn’t? Have you found yourself stuck in patterns that you couldn’t shift despite your best efforts?
 
Every now and then we find ourselves in a mood when all we can see are our ‘imperfections’, parts that we can’t ‘fix’, parts that keep us from being our ‘perfect selves’… 
 
‘If only I looked better…’
‘If only I was more confident…’
‘Oh no! I’ve done the same thing once again…’ 
 
We are filled with shame with what we perceive to be our persistent flaws.
 
Rather than engage in a losing battle, fighting to wipe out the flaws, perhaps we can perceive them differently. ‘There’s a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in’, sings Leonard Cohen in his song, Anthem. These imperfections may just be the doorway to discovering and embracing our unique gifts.
 
Kintsugi, a celebrated Japanese art form, involves repairing pottery not by eliminating the cracks and the flaws but highlighting them even more. The method involves filling the cracks with lacquer infused with gold, silver or platinum powder. The result is an even more beautiful bowl, a masterpiece. 

Here’s a story about a cracked pot.

 Every day an old woman walked a mile to the river to get water. She carried two pots, hung at each end of a long pole across her shoulders. One pot was perfect. The other pot had a crack. The perfect pot was very proud of itself for always delivering a full pot of water. The cracked pot was filled with shame because it was able to deliver only half the quantity of water because of its crack. 
 
Unable to withstand this shame any further, it spoke to the water bearer,” Kind woman, you have carried me on your shoulders for so many years. However, I have not been able to serve you well. I sincerely regret that I have a crack and leak so much water. Please forgive me.” 
 
The old woman smiled at the cracked pot and answered. “Those many years I have benefited from your small flaw, dear pot. Didn’t you notice that on one side of the road many more flowers grow? This is because you watered them every time we walked home together. I always had fresh flowers at my table and even sold some in the market. Don’t you see, it is precisely your flaw that is your greatest gift to me.”
 
It is our uniqueness that often gives us the opportunity to discover our talents and contribute to society. 
 
Here’s a little practice for you to try out:
  1. Identify a part of you that you dislike, ignore or are ashamed of 
  2. Explore the gift that this particular part of yourself might bring
  3. Recall a time when the gift of this challenging part has contributed to you or others
Have a good week!
 
Team Anahat