There may come a time, at a doctor visit, when you are asked for a medical history. You basically feel ok, but when you inventory your history of illnesses, accidents, surgeries and various recoveries it starts to add up. Or you’re talking with friends and you have plenty of war stories to share about hikes, boot camps and adventures that may have involved physical or psychological peril.
You basically feel ok but the dings and bumps have added up. Or you still feel pretty good, but you might need more massage, baths, chiropractic, acupuncture and TLC to keep your motor humming.
When you see how far you’ve come, I hope it feels like a victory. You’ve survived and thrived to varying degrees, and have earned wisdom and patience and perspective from all those experiences. You can offer advice to others who are facing what you’ve experienced (if only they would take it).
“Kintsugi”and “Kintsukuroi” describe the Japanese art of repairing a broken piece of pottery, and mending it with gold, silver or lacquer. The piece becomes more beautiful because of its history. It represents the beauty of having overcome suffering. Rather than disguising the breakage, the wound is honored. Another way of looking at this concept is to re-purpose an object; it takes on a new life with a new purpose.
Honor your path, your journey, your falls and breaks. Own your earned wisdom and perspective. You’ve made it this far and have stories to tell. Live your wisdom. Or, if that doesn’t sound like you, then try to be with your history, with quiet acceptance of the facts, eschewing judgement. This may not always be easy, which points back to scheduling that extra TLC.
I had to have my hip replaced a while ago, at about the same age my father did. I was a bit freaked out at first (I’m so young!) but it was time to act. The surgery was successful, I came through with flying colors (thanks to a combination of pre and post op strategies, traditional and complimentary protocols) and returned to my daily routines surprisingly quickly. After a bit of red tape, I retrieved from pathology the bony bits that were removed. The head of my femur – now in three small pieces – was floating in a formaldehyde solution. My thought was to clean them and put the pieces back together with a few seams of gold, and have a unique and fabulous (and yes, totally weird) souvenir of my transformation. I’m not kidding.
This was my plan! But living bone, having recently exited my body with some tissue still attached, is not as neat as bone models or “movie” bones, and even my enthusiasm was dampened with a bit of an “ick” factor. Months passed, my scar healed quickly and my new titanium hip continues to serve me well. My femur bone bits are bit cleaner now, sitting in a cup, not melded together with gold (yet), but still reminding me of having overcome an adversity successfully. I flirted with the idea of getting a tattoo over my scar, celebrating it with an in-vogue type of kintsugi, but it healed so well that it can barely be seen. Still, I celebrate my scar every time I stretch, walk, squat, lunge and do all the things daily life entails without pain.
So I did repair my broken bits after all, with titanium and invisible gold.