Every scar, whether visible or invisible, tells a story. These marks of life can represent small accidents from personal carelessness, show victories from battles, or triumphs over challenges such as overcoming a mountain climb or running a race. These types of scars are part of the journey, the cost of living, of having adventure and opportunity.
But not all scars are reminders of the greatest moments of our lives. For many, scars are reminders of dark times that we often try to cover up or forget. Whether visible or invisible, these scars can be a reminder of the times that left us feeling broken and defeated.
Scars, however, do not have to be triggering or traumatizing. They do not need to leave you feeling broken or marred. As the Japanese art form known as Kintsugi teaches us, scars can be fortifying as well as unifying. They can signify healing and survival.
In Japanese culture, when something like a piece of pottery or porcelain breaks, rather than throwing away the broken pieces, the artist mends the fragments together with precious metals such as gold, silver, or platinum. The process fortifies the item, making it stronger than before. The result is a unique and stunning piece that is even more beautiful and harder to break than the original.
We at the M3ND Project believe that those who have suffered from abuse are living examples of Kintsugi. Throughout our website, you will see photos and designs of the art of Kintsugi brought to life by women, men, and children. Each picture represents the journey of victims and their supporters from broken to stronger than ever before. To create these beautiful pieces of art imitating life, models start with a black line symbolizing the place of the original breaking, injury, or trauma. Next, our Kintsugi artist carefully applies gold leaf over the black lines turning what was once dark into something brilliant, beautiful, healthy, and powerful. We believe the art of Kintsugi is a redemptive symbol of what can be done in the lives of victims who take up the journey of healing. The scars transform from ugly reminders to signs of strength and beauty.
If you are a victim of abuse, you do not have to stay broken. Our goal is for you to live fully, abundantly, and triumphantly. It might take some time, therapy, and other healthy healing methods, but it is worth the effort. True healing allows for a Kintsugi result that enables us to see our scars as something stunning, powerful, and unique.
The M3ND Project and those we train work with survivors of both physical and emotional abuse. We believe those who live through these experiences develop a “sixth sense” as a result of what they have endured. Survivors see the world with a deeper understanding and intuition about others, and they can uniquely connect with other victims in a personal way. The shared experiences and “sixth sense” are signs of the strength and fullness that come from healing. Survivors were not given a choice in going through the experiences that scarred them, but Kintsugi gives them a chance to become complete as a result of those scars.
Just like the broken pieces of pottery, the fragments of our lives do not have to be tossed away or locked up, never to be used again. As Kintsugi states, when we mend together, we can confidently walk in our scars, proud of the person we have grown into despite our painful pasts.