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We are stronger in the places that we’ve been broken.

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Hardships and failures are our best teachers. We grow stronger by facing and overcoming them. The natural human response to pain is to run away from it. But some things we can’t hide from, and we inevitably have to deal with them, and it can feel unbearable. At some point we will all endure heartache and pain that will threaten to destroy us, but we will overcome these moments of darkness and desperation. And that experience of getting through it will make us stronger.

Some of us have suffered tragedy after tragedy. I have listened to stories of what people have faced and overcome and have wondered how one person can go through so much, over a short period of time and be okay. It is inspiring to me and proof that we are indeed stronger in the places we have been broken.

In Japan, when a piece of pottery breaks, it is repaired by the Japanese art form of kintsugi. A craftsman repairs the broken piece using a combination of lacquer and a powdered form of a precious metal, such as gold or platinum. Rather than trying to hide where the piece was broken, it is repaired this way to note part of the object’s history. The philosophy behind this is that where the object was broken is merely an event, it doesn’t define the object.

Resistance to pain, to being ‘broken’ is a normal human response. When we allow our fear of bad things happening to take over our minds, we allow our fear to blow up and become more irrational and bigger than it really is. Unchecked fear is a liar and doesn’t allow us to accurately assess situations.

Think about it when it comes to any kind of relationship. If we are so afraid to be broken, then we won’t be vulnerable. If we aren’t vulnerable, how do we ever really connect to someone else and experience true friendship or love? The bottom line is that you can’t know connection and love if you don’t make yourself vulnerable to being disappointed or hurt.

Don’t shy away from taking risks in your life because you are afraid of failure or getting hurt. If things don’t turn out the way you had hoped, realize that what is happening is an opportunity for growth. It may feel like a huge deal right now, but in the big picture, they are smaller events.

Once you have gone through a rough time and survived it, you gain mastery of how to deal with situations like that in the future. It helps prepare you and makes you stronger for having overcome it.

Where have you become stronger in the places you’ve been broken?

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