Fish With Gold

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There is no doubt that I have been broken. My spirit has been shattered. At times, I have been afraid of losing my life; at others, I begged to have it end. My skull has been smashed. I’ve been punched so hard in the face that a tooth was knocked out. My ribs have been cracked with a boot when I was already down. My throat has been crushed. I have been violated more than once. I am not trusting. I am not open. I am easily startled like a deer.

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But, like a deer, I have grown antlers to protect myself. I am not defenseless. I will fight. Though my head is heavy, it is held high.

I am working on repairing myself. I am working on creating a new, stronger person from amidst the rubble of my life. I am not the defenseless doe I once was.

All of my experiences, good and bad, have mingled together to create something stronger than the parts. I can survive anything. I have survived. I am still surviving. I will survive.

It is a cold, brutal world for some. Others walk through life on clouds without experiencing much hardship. But, who has it easier when things don’t go according to plan?

It’s those imperfections, those blemishes, those scars that make us, not the perfect, serene surface. It is hardship that makes us strong. It is the difficult times that make us appreciate the good. If we are always supported, we don’t appreciate the value of that support. It is only when it is taken away or it’s not there in the first place that we see value in friendship, laughter or even a hug.

I have been cracked and scarred and damaged, but I am not irreparably broken. I’ve had to fix myself. I’ve had to crawl out from the bottom into the light, and it is that journey that makes me everything that I am. It is that struggle that has made me funny and smart and courageous and compassionate. Instead of deserting those behind me, I turn around and offer a hand. I could not do that–it might not even occur to me–had I not been there myself.

While I’m still repairing my faults, and I always will be, I am repairing them with gold, making the entire structure stronger, more interesting and beautiful. And I am not at all alone.

Kintsukuroi is a Japanese noun meaning “to repair with gold”; the art of repairing pottery with gold or silver lacquer and understanding that the piece is more beautiful for having been broken.