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Why Does My Story Matter?

Updated: Aug 6, 2021

Everyone has a story and every story is worth hearing. Most of us believe we know our story. However, truly knowing our story takes intentionality. There are usually 5 or 6 defining moments in our lives that have created the lens through which we view the world, ourselves, and God.

If we take a closer look at those stories with a safe person, the themes and perspectives that create our view will emerge. Nestled within each of our stories, is the power to create different endings, to live more fully in the present, and to experience better relationships.


As I was deciding on the name for The Broken and Beautiful, LLC, I knew it needed to capture the importance of our stories. I went through several options before landing. In the process, two concepts inspired me and you will find evidence of them as you first open The Broken and Beautiful website.

Kintsugi Pottery broken pieced together with gold
Kintsugi Pottery—pieced together with gold

First, Kintsugi captured my attention. Kintsugi is the Japanese-inspired art of repairing pottery with gold or silver lacquer and understanding that the piece is more beautiful for having been broken.

Second, the Gingko tree fills me with incredulous awe. When Hiroshima was decimated by the world’s first atom bomb on August 6, 1945, virtually everything was destroyed- either in the initial blast or as a result of the nuclear fallout. However, the Gingko tree survived. Its roots had become capable of drawing nutrients from even the most toxic soil.

Gingko Leaf

Kintsugi and the Gingko Tree are both exquisite icons of survival. They are also metaphors for our stories. Let me explain:

I find that we tend to be something like broken pottery with sharp edges when we've been hurt. The fragments may even appear damaged beyond repair - unusable. They exhibit the marks of brokenness in similar fashion to the ways a human heart feels when it's broken. The edges of a broken heart can cut inward or outward through shame, rage, insecurity, isolation, fear, and anxiety.

All of us understand these concepts because we each have these experiences to one degree or another. We carry the realities of brokenness in our hearts, bodies, and souls. No person is exempt.

To be sure, we somehow discover a formula for survival. We create a semblance of life even if that means experiencing disconnection and loneliness.

There comes a time, however, when these ways quit working. We find what has helped us survive in the past is now keeping us stuck.

Taking time to lovingly examine the shards -our brokenness - we can begin to discover for what purpose the pottery was originally designed. We discover the creator originally fashioned it with loving hands. We can then piece it back together, filling the cracks with the pure gold of patience, gentleness, curiosity, and kindness. The result is something far more beautiful for having been broken.

As we engage with our stories, we will find that we are more like the Gingko tree than we realize — an incredible ambassador of beauty, learning how to find vibrant life even in the darkest of places.

Every story has within it The Broken and Beautiful.

“See the beauty in your broken places. It’s a testament of your bravery and humanity.” (author unknown)

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Ronda Swanson
Ronda Swanson
Jul 06, 2019

This was lovely to read this evening. I am pleased to see what God CONTINUES to do in your life. I am watching to see more, but most of all HE is going before you. I am glad you have the courage to DREAM BIGGER. God SEES you, Patria. God's kindest and truest life being prayed for you. Pain still comes, but it moves us to perseverance, which created character and then....HOPE!

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