A Response: A Shattered Psyche

Your psyche is you, perhaps the only thing you truly own forever.

We spend a lot of time worrying about it and whether it is correct or complete or perhaps what is wrong with it, both our own and others’.

I am of the mind that every psyche, if spoken of as a thing, should be described like this vase. In that manner I have recently responded to a thought of shattered psyche with this:

Strength is not found in never having let anything out, but in choosing what to put back and keep in. It is the patches on the cracks and what they hold behind them that strength comes from. No tears are needed, but they will happen. Those patches on the cracks are not repairs, thatโ€™s the sinews of strength showing through.

Wear the cracks without shame. An unbroken vessel has not had to weather the troubles of life and living. It remains new and untested. The unbroken vessel does not know how much is too much nor what truly lies within. The psyche that believes itself to be perfect is one that has never seen a mirror. The psyche that believes it should be perfect has never truly seen the weathered and cracked vessels of those they most admire.

If perfection is our only goal, failure will be our only accomplishment.

It is far better to be useful than to be perfect.

Where a perfect vessel is needed, they throw out the vessels with any imperfections, no care for the beauty of the mosaic of the cracks that give it strength.


I really enjoyed this post โ€“ particularly the last line about those who throw out imperfect vessels in the (futile, misguided) search for a perfect one. [That’s how it resonated with me, anyway.] I like the idea of the cracks in the mosaic giving it strength.

I did not intentionally try to say it, but a comment (see below, thank you DysthymiaBree) highlights a different perspective: When we seek perfection in others, we throw away what is more useful, more solid, more meaningful. We throw out what we need.


  1. I really enjoyed this post – particularly the last line about those who throw out imperfect vessels in the (futile, misguided) search for a perfect one. [That’s how it resonated with me, anyway.] I like the idea of the cracks in the mosaic giving it strength.
    Thank you for this beautiful image – what a lovey way to start my week!

    • I’m glad you enjoyed it. My writing is not for naught… I hope your week is better than even its start.

      • Thanks. It’s going to be a big week, emotion-wise, but hopefully – as you say – a good one. Thank you for your kind good wishes!

        • Thank you for reading and commenting… that started my week off good ๐Ÿ˜‰

          • What goes around comes around! Mutual support is the name of the game, right? Oh, and the writing. Mustn’t forget the writing ๐Ÿ˜‰

            • check the update to the post in a few minutes

              • OK! Will do …

                • ๐Ÿ™‚ and so we continue to give to each other!

                  • Yes, we do, all of us

  2. Beautifully said.

    • High praise, thank you very much. From yourself it is most appreciated.

  3. I love the sentiment.

    • john, thank you. I must be doing something right if you like it.

  4. Great message.

    • Thank you, and thank you for commenting.

  5. I “liked” this post in the morning while drafting a grant application. The message resonated clearly late in the evening when I received feedback on that early draft. It’s too easy to forget, especially when one is obsessing over the details of an important project, that perfection is not the end goal — writing something useful is. Thanks for this post. It’s given me something thoughtful to begin and end the day with.

    • Thank you for commenting and your kind words. Hopefully I will be able to continue to write useful things ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Speaking as a broken vessel, and one who doesn’t easily throw out other broken vessels, I so appreciate this post.

    I think a cracked, repaired, chipped, vessel has so much more to offer, a story to tell, than anything new and perfect. Maybe this is why I prefer old, and eclectic to new and matchy. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Thanks for your kind comment. I have that cracked and patched look too ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. With those cracks, it’s OK to leak once in a while, isn’t it? ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Yes, it is… leaking is not bad… exploding is

      • ๐Ÿ™‚

  1. February 9th, 2014

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