One of the many joys I have in my life has been working with Parakaleo, an organization that comes alongside women in ministry with gospel coaching, caring, and connecting. I will never forget the first retreat we held in Asia nearly 8 years ago with a group of women gathered from around the globe. This was the first time we would be presenting our materials to such a broad, multi-cultural audience and we were curious about what language barriers we may encounter or how we might be able to contextualize our stories to reflect the beautiful tapestry of the women gathered in that space. It was in this setting that I first heard the word “kintsukuroi”.
We had women participating from Malaysia, Japan, India, Singapore, America, Australia, Indonesia, and beyond. As we shared personal stories of beauty then transitioned to stories of brokenness along with the redemption of where hope and light had intercepted these stories or were waiting for rescue, my new Japanese friend calmly and quietly said, “This reminds me of Kintsukuroi…” We engaged in a deeper conversation of how the Japanese art form of carefully repairing broken pottery with this “golden repair” is carefully done in the hands of a craftsman who sees beauty in the broken pieces and does not discard them but re-purposes and restores them to a beautiful new life.
This image of a careful craftsman never left my mind and is the essence of the repair I desire to help facilitate in the hearts and minds of my clients in the counseling process. Sometimes, the shattering happens to us as we experience feeling dropped by a betrayal of a loved one or experience a significant event in our story. Other times, we can experience a shattering of the mind, body, soul, and spirit as we become so tangled in our own crippling patterns of behavior, dysfunctional communication patterns, and lack of connection with the people and things that matter most to us. Taking the time to slow down, examine the pieces, and consider how to move forward towards repair is essential in integrating authenticity and wholeness in our stories.
-Sharon Hicks, LPCC, Founder of Kintsukuroi Counseling