Discover more from Like person, like coach by Iacob Bacian
'23 Weeknotes #21: Letting Things be Broken
You are reading ‘Like person, like coach’, a newsletter about being the coach you are whilst trying to contribute to a better world:
‘The world is too rich, too promiscuous, too generative to host hope and stability alone. Indeed, it would seem that the universe is more prolific at generating loss than it is at keeping things together. - Báyò Akómoláfé
I read this quote in Báyò Akómoláfé’s LinkedIn post a few weeks back. It’s been ringing in my ears since then. It’s fun to notice how in different parts of life a particular writer has been able to put in words some of what I had been wrestling with. In the past it had been Pádraig Ó Tuama, Irish poet and theologian, and Alabaster de Plume, poet and performer. These days it’s Báyò who rings deep every time I read him.
Two weeks ago I was at HuddleCamp, an incredible gathering of people from the HuddleCraft community coming together for a weekend of community, sharing and reconnecting with ourselves and each other. It was incredibly rich and as always a deep reminder of what is possible between us when we show up with deep care.
In our leaving circle I shared that I was leaving ‘brokenhearted’, in the most positive sense of the word. I had been carrying this question of how to stay open-hearted day-to-day, in the face of large scale and private loss. The loss in unplanned events, in people we’ll never see again, in things not turning out the way we’d have liked, our bodies hurting, in dreams stalled, in unreconcillable differences, in unsolvable pain.
And then Tom, another camp attendee, came up to me and shared something with me. He told me about Wabi Sabi, and how in Japan when day-to-day china gets chipped or broken they fix it with gold. This wasn’t the first time I was hearing about this but it was the first time it landed deep. Of course that when you use something every day it’s more likely to break. Tom also told me that after 99 years of service, these objects get a soul and are placed on a special shelf.
The thought that a soul could be something that we don’t just get born with but that we acquired brought some strange kind of hope. But what really transformed me was the moment I shared with Tom.
So, what would coaching look like if change-processes were allowed to be uneven, unfinished, messy? What would ‘changing the world’ look like if the new world we created could still be broken, but our sense of each other more deeply tethered? What would it be like to experience our own migivings, failings, faults as part of the incredible necessity of being who we are? What if instead of shame we felt awe at our brokenness?
‘It is in our pain, not our fear, that we are reminded we are part of something larger than ourselves’.
- Alok Vaid-Menon
‘You do not need fixing. There is nothing wrong with you. It is not your sorrow, as such; we no longer have the luxury of being private citizens of an entangled cosmos. Every moment you feel the churning discourse of grief, trust that everything froths in symphony with ‘your’ despair. Trust that pain is not a crisis of interiority, but a public knowing, a shared feeling. Trust that the whole world of things is creased in that moment. Trust that you are not alone.’
- Báyò Akómoláfé
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