We all have cracks, flaws, differences that life has given us along the way. Stretch marks that have appeared over time from experiences we’ve gone through and lessons that have pushed us, and brought us to new comfort levels. Our tiger stripes or warrior markings. You can have gotten the literal stretch marks from bearing beautiful children, losing weight, gaining weight… etc. The cracks or quirks under the surface from lessons life threw your way. They are a part of you now, and a part of your story! I have stretch marks on the side of my glutes because I used to not have a butt at all. Some may chuckle and say, “You’re talking about your butt in this post?” I however, am so proud of those marks I have because it shows all the hard work and dedication I have put in over the years to grow that muscle from pretty much nothing. I find power and strength in my little baby tiger marks. I see mothers proudly showing off their marks and I marvel at the wonders of the human body, how one human body can sustain another for nine months. Sustain, nurture, and love…. Those are marks of love, of strength and perseverance. Seeing people share their differences or cracks that they attained from moments in their lives where they were maybe pushed down, but then got right back up. Seeing marks that tell stories, that tell about the wearer’s resilience, their beauty and perseverance to achieve whatever life sends their way. That is beautiful to me!
I recently came across an incredible story that actually inspired this post for me. I saw a picture about how in Japan there is a custom that if a bowl or piece of pottery is cracked instead of throwing it away as useless the piece is filled in with gold. So the crack is proudly displayed as a sign of beauty. A flaw, but a unique and beautiful flaw and the bowl is even stronger with metal running through it. The Japanese don’t try to hide the crack or make it whole again; no they highlight the uniqueness and history of the piece with pure gold, and make it even more beautiful! The art of the beautiful scars. That is an incredible idea to me. Why be ashamed of a crack or mark here or there that make you uniquely you? Instead why not proudly show it off as a part of you. You aren’t truly you without that mark, so why hide it?
Another metaphor and story I love that I have talked about in the past is viewing your cracks as ways your light gets out. Your light shines out for the entire world to see! You glow and attract people with your light and then when they get closer they’re inspired by how confident you are in your cracks. Lead by example and show others around you flaws and differences are beautiful. In a world always striving for perfection and to be that flawless beauty that is so often portrayed everywhere be the flawed beauty. Be the unique beauty that is based on the experiences you have had in your life and how they have shaped you. Be the beauty that is so much more under the surface. Who’s character and passion shine through the marks and cracks. You are so much more than skin deep beauty. Never judge a book by its cover. Always get to know someone or something before making a decision. Just like those bowls in Japan that are cracked, you need to look closely and in-depth and have an open mind. Perfection and flawless beauty is a façade I believe. No one is truly perfect and honestly perfect can be quite boring as well. Why be boring when you can be gloriously messy and unique. You can be different, a little cracked or broken, but so incredibly beautiful!
The word messy can sometimes have a negative connotation. For example a messy room, or the dog left a mess, etc. BUT sometimes I think it can also be a positive exciting word! Life is messy for example, and that isn’t a bad thing! We want life to be messy, we want surprises and lessons to learn from or honestly life would just get super boring. We want to be a bit messy ourselves and be a collection of all the lessons and experiences we’ve lived through and are living through now! We want to be an eclectic person full of different quirks, cracks, messes, love. etc. because that is what makes us US. That is what sets us apart from EVERYONE else in the world. Sure we want to have similar interests or some common trends with others around us so we can connect and find friends in this crazy universe, BUT in the end we don’t want to be cookie cutter people. We want to at the end of the journey be proud in our differences and the brokenness that made us each so incredibly beautiful, AND seeing that beauty in the brokenness starts with us. We must be in love with ourselves, and ALL of ourselves. No part should be left unloved or in the dark, because each of those pieces add up together to finish the puzzle of us! Puzzles have lines and cracks, but in the end all the pieces fit together so perfectly to create a gorgeous picture, and you can’t finish the puzzle with a piece missing. Each little jigsaw piece is important to the overall finished product. Nothing should be left out or forgotten, or we will be incomplete in the end. Even if you think, “oh it’s just a boring piece of blue in the sky, no one will notice if I don’t stick it in the puzzle.” Ummmm heck yes it will be noticed. So don’t do the same with yourself. Don’t think, “oh this part of me isn’t amazing like those around me, so I’ll just hide it from everyone.” That quirk is a piece of your puzzle. You need it to create and finish the beautiful picture of you!
Always remember your brokenness is a sign of strength. It shows how you have put yourself back together, how you have held yourself up, and learned from the lessons that broke you. Your cracks are a sign of your bravery, you may be a bit broken but you are not helpless or hopeless. Remember that you are unstoppable. You may be broken, but that doesn’t mean you have to stop, no that means you learned a lesson and can now prove you are resilient. Show your raw beautiful strength to embrace the new crack, the new mark, as a unique and special part of you now. You are so incredibly strong and should be proud of your different cracks. They are what make you you. They are what make you unique, strong, messy, eclectic and so incredibly beautiful. You may be cracked, but you are unstoppable! Xo
Photo by Robert Rosenberg