As I’ve written, Western culture sees healing—it literally means “to make whole”—as restoring something or someone to an undamaged state; when something of value is damaged, such as a painting or other artifact, our practice is always to repair it in such a way that it looks as though the damage never happened. That tends to be the mindset we bring to our emotional healing from childhood which is, of course, impossible. For that reason, I think it’s far more productive to think of healing using the Japanese art of Kintsugi as the guiding metaphor. When a valuable or cherished ceramic object is broken, the Japanese repair the piece with lacquer mixed with precious metals—gold, silver, or copper—so that the breaks are not only visible but form a pattern of their own, testifying to the object’s history while transforming how it looks. The repaired object remains its old self while becoming an emblem of resilience and newly envisioned beauty.
When things go wrong, you don’t automatically blame yourself.
You don’t automatically second-guess or ruminate.
You’re able to speak up without worrying.
You’re much less sensitive to rejection or slights.
You recognize, label, and dismantle triggers.
You respect boundaries and set your own.
You take pride in what you handled well and cope with what you botched.
You’ve begun to see yourself wholly.
You are no longer ashamed.
You are now setting personal goals.
You are beginning to manage your emotions with skill.
READ: 12 Signs That You're Healing from a Toxic Childhood | Psychology Today
Mending the Hoop
StrongHearts Native Helpline (1-844-7NATIVE) – The StrongHearts Native Helpline (1-844-762-8483) is a safe, anonymous and confidential service for Native Americans affected by domestic violence and dating violence. Advocates are available at no cost 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. CST, 7 days a week when you are ready to reach out. StrongHearts offers immediate peer-to-peer support, crisis intervention, safety planning and referrals to culturally-appropriate resources. Visit strongheartshelpline.org for more information on abuse types and behaviors.
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