Highlighting flaws

Have you ever watched reality TV shows on hoarders? I'm fascinated by these people. They ruin their homes and their lives hoarding stuff. According to the shows, it always seems to stem from some tragic event that made something "go off" (for lack of a better term) in these people's mind and they just gave up on cleaning and started keeping everything because they felt they needed it or that these things were precious. They can't even let go of items that are damaged beyond use.

Years of hoarding has a serious impact on these people's lives in more ways than one. All the stuff eats away at their home damaging the structure - literally and figuratively. I've seen shows where the situation was so bad that they actually had to condemn the house.

Now I've said it before and I'll say it again, I was nowhere near to qualifying as a hoarder. I just had a lot of stuff. Since embarking on my minimalism journey, something's been going on. I have less stuff in the way distracting me from old pains that haven't completely healed. I've found that as I was getting rid of stuff (material possessions, expectations, relationships), I've exposed the "structural damage" that the years of neglect and denial have had on my life. Now there's not much else left to do than to face them.

I don't remember exactly where I first read about this, but there's this ancient Japanese art form that mends broken vases using a bonding agent containing gold, silver or platinum. It's called Kintsugi. According to Wikipedia, "the philosophy behind it is to treat breaks and repairs as part of the history of an object, rather than something to disguise". Highlighting the flaws as part of the piece's beauty. Oh how our lives would be different if we treated ourselves and others in this way!

So now with less stuff in the way, the hard work starts. The work where I mend those pieces back together with the gold that is acceptance, forgiveness, love, and life itself. It's scary to face some of these things. And it can get kind of lonely. But I have to deal with it. Slowly and patiently, piece by piece - accepting, forgiving, loving and then letting go.

I used to want to hide my flaws thinking it was the only way I could gain acceptance from others. I've come to realize that the only acceptance that really matters is my own. Besides, I wouldn't be the woman I am today if I hadn't made all the mistakes I've made, and all the good decisions I've made for that matter.

How beautiful it is to behold someone who accepts who they are! Not that we shouldn't strive to "better ourselves", but finally accepting who we are as we continue on the journey to self-improvement. And maybe actually using that acceptance as a tool or strategy to help with self-improvement.

I'm still struggling with that, working hard on it. I shall persevere.

My goal - serenity.

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