Seek Beauty In Your Broken Pieces

The average student frets earning an “F” on a school project, a weekly quiz, a unit test, or worse, failing a class. In my late teens, several times, I failed a required written test for Rickles. Rickles was an 80’s version of Home Depot. After a week or two of training, I could handle the register with ease, however, at the site of the exam, my heart raced like I had completed the 100-yard dash. Although I knew the content, I repeatedly froze and performed poorly on the exam. To get the job, I needed to pass the test.

A crack. A break. A defect. Imperfection. Busted. Broken. Early in life, we are positioned to see what is wrong and to prevent failure. When coloring with crayons, we are encouraged to stay inside the lines. When learning to ride a bicycle, we’re instructed to place both hands on the handlebars, so we don’t fall. Don’t run too fast, or you will fall. In elementary school, I remember easily crumbling a half-dozen loose-leaf notebook paper because I’d made a mistake and couldn’t completely erase my error. To get the job, I needed to pass the test.

I legitimately did my best. But my best wasn’t good enough nor was it meant to be. My mother saw my failure as a significant blemish on my young work record and a potential hurdle to future achievements. I was chastised as though my failure was intentional. I was laughed at. Inside I felt like a failure and questioned my intelligence. On the outside, I masked my shame and humiliation with laughter. I didn’t know that I would fail. Naivety convinced me that effort would always prevail. 

Looking back on my experience, I am confident that failing Rickel’s exam was the best thing for me. The failure was painful, but it changed the course of my life. My little hiccup temporarily derailed my confidence. I let it go and moved on. I discovered grit and tenacity. I grew stronger. 

I wish I knew about The Wisdom of KINTSUKUROI

Kintsukuroi is a Japanese word meaning, “to repair with gold.”

Kintsukuroi is a Japanese art that meticulously mends broken ceramics with gold. The repairs are made by hand using urushi lacquer, and the seam is highlighted with gold or other metals. The technique is designed to enhance the beauty of the flaws and is said to be made even more beautiful than it was originally.

With the tradition, beauty is derived from the broken and flawed pieces. We’re all scarred just the same. Some scars we display physically. Other blemishes are hidden and packaged neatly like a beautifully wrapped Christmas gift. We are scared from failed relationships, failed businesses, wrecked finances, chronic illness, battle scars from cancer, low GPA’s in high school and college, foreclosed homes, and more. Cyndie Speigal’s book of daily inspiration, wisdom, and courage reminds us:

You will fail.
You will fail.
You will break.
You will stand up and dust yourself off.
You will repair yourself again and again.
And eventually, though you will be different than before, you will again become whole.
You will be even more beautiful precisely because of all of this.
You will be a better person because of your imperfections, not in spite of them.

It’s 2019! Surely we will experience successes and failures in the New Year. Make a commitment today to allow yourself a moment to feel failure but to get back up and start over.

I will NOT be shaken.

Psalms 16:8

Happy New Year!!

Anger, Uncategorized

Temper Tamer

When I was 17, I had a bad temper.  As long as you didn’t bother me, I was cool.  But as soon as you crossed the line, I went crazy.  Crossing the line meant, stepping on my shoes, bumping into me, pushing me or shoving me. Both my parents were hotheads.  So it was natural for me to over-react to situations.

In high school, I was an average student.  I underperformed and could have earned better grades.

During my senior year, I appeared to be happy.  On the outside, I smiled often but internally, I felt uptight and knotted up.  I hid my problems from everyone.  I did not know that I should have asked for help.

A week before Thanksgiving, my dad died and a lot changed at home. My mom and I were not getting along, so homelife fueled my fury.

Anger management was an unknown concept to me.  I wish someone… anyone had told me that I was over-reacting to situations.  I wish someone had told me that there was a better way to resolve conflicts.  If someone you know tries to talk to you about your behavior, please don’t be angry with them.  They are talking to you because they care about you. I encourage you to listen.

One particular day, I was mad as heck at an ex-boyfriend. He cheated on me, and I had decided to teach him a lesson.  Thankfully my cousin stopped me from doing something foolish that would have changed the course of my life forever.  You may not be as lucky as I was, so I want to encourage you to learn to make better choices.

If you are angry, you probably have good reasons to be mad.  However, you MUST find a positive way to sort through and to release your anger.

You have options.

Who do you trust? A coach, parent, counselor, sibling, teacher, mentor, or other family members.  There has to be someone.  If you don’t feel like you can talk to your parent(s), most schools have resources to help you and are waiting for you to ask for help.  In most cases, they won’t know you need help until you ask for it.  Give it a try.

I do want to tell you about my secret coping strategy.  It’s meditation, and it works.  Don’t knock it until you try it.

Meditation involves deep breathing and will help to calm and quiet your mind.  I know it sounds crazy, but it really is a drug-free solution to relieve stress and defuse your anger.

You can meditate anywhere… in the classroom, before an exam, in the cafeteria, during gym, on the bus, before school, or somewhere else you think of. My point is, it works.  Please try it.

If you have a smartphone, below are my three favorite apps.  Insight Timer is the newest one, and it’s FREE.

The Relax & Rest app costs around $2.99. If you need to get your parent/guardian permission before purchasing, please do so.

The Calm app is free, but once you use it, there are options, to buy additional features.  Don’t bother buying the added features, the FREE options are good enough.

For each app, you decide how much time you have to meditate and select the time that is best for you.   The apps will walk you through the process, which is called “guided meditation.”

If you can, try meditating before school.  If that’s not feasible, find a good time, even if it’s only 15 minutes and make it a daily practice. I assure you it will make a difference in your day and your life.

If you have questions or would like help getting started, complete the contact me form and I help you. Perhaps I can create a YouTube video for you…
The point of this post is to offer you healthier options for you to cope with stress and anger.

Unfortunately, we live in unforgiving times. As a youth, bad choices don’t just disappear. They can follow you throughout your life.  I would hate for you to do something terrible that will adversely change your life and limit your future options.

I was lucky.  Some of you may not be as lucky as I was. Remember this quote:

Anger doesn’t solve anything,

it builds nothing,

but it can destroy everything.

Any thoughts? Please click here and share your thoughts.  I would love to hear from you. 🙂


Ms. T.