Don’t let anyone tell you what to do with your life. Don’t let anyone tell you what to do with your body. Don’t let anyone tell you what to do with your money. Don’t let anyone tell you you’re not beautiful. Don’t let anyone tell you you won’t be successful. Don’t let anyone tell you you can’t do something. Don’t let someone tell you you’re smaller than them. Your life is your life. Your heart, your opinions, you passion, your voice should be the one you listen to above the noise of everyone else’s.
We’ve been taught from a young age to hide away or fix away our flaws. But in the Japanese art of Kintsugi, broken pottery is mended with gold. It stands out on purpose. The art celebrates the cracks and the eventualities that led to those cracks. The pot is seen as something more precious than before. The pot is seen as something that was never truly broken. Just like in Kintsugi, there is beauty in our imperfections. There are stories in our scars. There is strength born out of our flaws. Let’s stop hiding them away. We are stronger and more beautiful for having been broken.
If you look inside, you will find strength, you will find beauty, you will find wisdom. It’s easy to persuade ourselves that we’re not good enough, especially when it feels like everyone else is saying that too. But all the tools we need are right inside us. If you close your eyes and really look deep inside, you’ll find that voice of courage and love and faith. And then you need to hand a megaphone to that voice. Because you don’t deserve anything but words of love and optimism. They’ll be enough people out in the world trying to criticise you and bring you down, but don’t let them drown out your inner voice. You are strong, you are beautiful and you can conquer anything. You can be whoever you want to be.
We punish ourselves for the past. We punish ourselves for things outside our control. We punish ourselves for not fitting the perfect mould. Why do we torture ourselves? We need to stop dwelling on what we cannot change and shouldn’t need to change. We need to start embracing where we’ve been and where we’re going. We need to love who we are and work towards who we want to be. Because it’s going to be pretty awesome. Let’s not dull the sparkle.
The world is abundant. There’s so much to see, so much to do, so much to be. Pick people’s brains. Walk through open doors. Talk to strangers. Take a new route home. Go somewhere you’ve never been before. Experience as much as you can, including mistakes, failure, risks, struggle, uncertainty. Because that will bring us closer to experiencing the beauty of life. There’s so much on offer. We just need to take it.