Imagine a crack in a vase. Imagine how you would feel if there all of a sudden was a big crack in your favorite vase. Now imagine instead of feeling anger about the crack, just fill that gap with pure gold. This is the teaching of Wabi Sabi.
Wabi Sabi has it’s roots in Japanese Zen philosophy, but delivers a message that can serve all of humanity. It teaches to find love and the positive in what we otherwise think as negative or gives us frustration. We sometimes think of this as ‘blessings in disguise’.
A book I recently read is, “Wabi Sabi Love” by Arielle Ford. This is a great quick read and makes a great gift to lift anyone’s spirit. And it delivers a strong message that anyone will benefit from. Let me know if you read it. The book is about stories about those people in relationships that stumbled upon tough situations or something that totally annoyed them about their partner, and how these ‘problems’ transformed. There are really some parts that will cause you to laugh and moments that really touch you and will ultimately reveal something about yourself. Because ultimately if you aren’t grateful for anything and instead criticize, you will ultimately loose it.
One of the funny stories is how one woman’s husband would always go up to children and tell them jokes. This drove her nuts, because it would cause her to have to wait on him and how she’d have to listen to this silliness. One day while they were out shopping, she was already really annoyed at him telling jokes. Then he went up to this little boy who looked sad. He told him a joke and the boy just sat there. Then he told him another joke and the little boy began laughing and suddenly his mood changed. That day the lady saw that her husband really just wanted to make someone’s day a little brighter and realized that her husband also brought that into her life. His intent was not to annoy her. She was really taking it too personally. She turned around what she thought was frustrating, into something that she was appreciative for.
Another light story is a lady who came home from work so mad, and again, found all these poppy seeds on the kitchen floor. She hysterically began cleaning them up just so mad, and suddenly realized that this was just evidence that her husband was in her life and still there. She said she would rather clean up poppy seeds everyday than loosing her husband.
There are also the deeply touching stories that will leave you amazed at the strength that some people are blessed with. One of the stories I really liked was a story about a lady who was super stressed about her job. She would often come home and began venting to her husband, who would just offer logical advice on what she could do better. One day they were out to eat and he began offering this same advice. She told him she just wanted empathy and someone to listen and to comfort her. That’s when she said she needed to go on a long walk and left. While she was out, she began to realize that he was showing his care for her by trying to tell her what she could do about it. It was just simply his way. While he was on his walk, he realized that he should be softer in his advice and be more open to just listening and showing more of how he cared in the way she understood. He realized some of the things he said were rather hurtful and offensive and came off as anything as caring. After two hours, she stopped at a hotel’s payphone to call him and tell him what she had thought about. It turns out, they ended up literally 20 feet away from each other at this hotel! They took it as a sign that they were meant to be together.
All three of these people took what was totally disheartening or frustrating to them and began to look at it in a new way. Some of the stories, the people were really blessed that the person was a certain way because it proved to be beneficial in some situations.
The art of Wabi Sabi teaches us how to let go, how to be at peace, and demonstrates that its practice can bring more love into any relationship. It’s really profound and awakening to realize that giving up the negative blocks within ourselves can be erased and will begin to allow love to flow. Most importantly, it shows you how to be free and to begin living.