Once upon a time, in Japan, a wealthy man was sitting having some tea. As he was taking in the beautiful sights and sounds of the beautiful landscape he inadvertently dropped his teacup and it broke. The teacup was made of clay and so it would need to be taken to a craftsmen in order to get it fixed. He sent his precious teacup to the shop. Later, when he received the teacup back it was mended, but it was mended crudely and it turned his precious beautiful teacup into a something he no longer appreciated. However, all was not lost, another craftsmen decided to approach the teacup in a different way. He delicately undid the ugly job the other craftsmen did and instead of simply and crudely stapling the broken pieces together, he filled the cracks with a Gold Resin. Now the teacup had veins of gold resin all around it keeping the broken pieces together. It was so beautiful to see. From that moment on a rich tradition called kintsugi (“to patch with gold”) also known as kintsukuroi (“to repair with gold”) had been established.

When I first read this story I looked up kintsukuroi in Google and saw various images of pottery that was mended in this gold resin. They were beautiful. As I was looking at a particular beautiful piece it dawned on me that we too can mend our lives with gold.

Life is quite a ride, isn't it? So many people and experiences flow through our it; some wonderful and some not so wonderful. It's the wonderful times that we recall with fondness, we think of them and then they disappear like a mist. It's our traumas and bad times that linger in our minds like ghosts; haunting our consciousness and slowly possessing us. Before you know it the ghost of trauma causes cracks in our lives. Some will develop addictions, depression, low self esteem and a tsunami of other negative traits to try to mend these cracks, but to no avail. These cracks slowly grow and eventually derail us from living the full life that was intended for us. No one is immune from the hardships of life, everyone is in the same boat. However, those cracks don't need to be filled with booze, drugs, negative thinking and the like, we can fill them with positivity, hope and faith...In other words, we can fill them with Gold.

All negative situations, and I mean all of them are an opportunity to learn a lesson. Life is full of lessons and often the best way for us to learn is through unpleasantness and pain. Seldom will you find someone learning the lesson the " easy way". It always seems like the lesson comes the " hard way". Its during these tough times when we can't see the benefits. We can't see the GOLD LINING so to speak. But I assure you, it is there, glimmering. When we take the opportunity to quiet our minds and reflect on a negative event as it transpires we can gain a kind of "Gods Eye view" of the situation. Unlike many of my fellow authors who will say that one should not dwell on the pain but replace it with "positive thinking" I on the other hand say 'No, get deep into the pain'. I don't mean wallow in it, but feel it, let it ride through you. I know this is easier said than done, but it is in the pain that we learn the lessons of life.

That pain is simply a mask , it isn't who we are. Often people don't learn the lessons from pain and eventually self identify with the pain. My grandmother was one of those people who self identified with pain. Her entire life was consumed by some pain or another. Be it physical or mental. She was asked once " If we could snap our fingers and suddenly all your pains in life would vanish, how would that change your life?" She answered " I don't know". That answer still brings chills down my spine. I asked this same question to a friend of mine who seems to live in a cloud of negativity and she never answered me. It's been 3 months since I asked the question. I decided not to ask it again, her silence was the answer. So Many people have identified with their pain for so long that they have BECOME the pain and this the lesson of the pain is lost on them. They are the teacup crudely placed back together. There is no gold filling those cracks.

The philosophy behind kintsukuroi is that the object that is broken is more beautiful with its history revealed through the golden resin.

When we can face our pain, feel our pain and not run away from it. When we can ask God/the universe/the mind about the lesson to be learned in it, we too can fill those cracks with gold. We are more beautiful when our history is revealed.

Author's Bio: 

Doron Alon is the CEO of Numinosity Press Incorporated, a small independent publisher of spiritual works and other interesting topics.