Sometimes, in spite of positive situations, we may lack self-confidence, a sense of self-worth, or even a feeling that we matter at all. Our self-critic takes over with old false beliefs about us, and we lose sight of just how valuable we are. When this happens to me, I re-read the story of The Cracked Pot. It reminds me that each of us is important in our own way, and our value can't be denied. The story is long, but insightful, and may help if you have one of those inner critics that pesters you with false ideas just when you need to know the truth of how special you really are.
The Cracked Pot
There once was a water bearer in India who delivered water in two large pots that he balanced on a long pole across his shoulders. One pot was sturdy, but the other pot had a crack in its side. In the time it took the water bearer to walk from the stream to the master's house, the flawed pot lost half of its water. This continued every day for two years. The perfect pot was proud to say it did its job perfectly. The flawed pot was ashamed of itself.
Finally, the cracked pot spoke to the water bearer as he was filling it at the stream. "I must apologize to you. I am embarrassed." "Why? What is wrong?" said the water bearer. "I am broken. It is no secret. I cannot hold all the water you put in me. I lose half of it as you walk to the master's house. I am of no use to you." The water bearer nodded. "I understand. But as we deliver the water today, take notice of the flowers growing on the side of the road." The pot agreed and became aware of a long row of beautiful flowers all along the road to the master's house. The pot was depressed that once again, at the end of the journey, it had lost half of its water. Again, the pot apologized.
The water bearer smiled. "Did you notice there were flowers only on your side of the path and not the other? I've known about the crack in your side all along. I decided to take advantage of it by planting flower seeds on your side of the path. You water those flowers every day. I've been picking the flowers and giving them to my master to put around the house. If you did not have your flaw, he would not be able to enjoy the beauty of the fresh flowers. They give me pleasure too. I see them every day as I walk the path. Because of your crack, I am able to do and experience something I wouldn't be able to if you didn't have it."
We are all flawed vessels. Like the pot, we are ashamed and embarrassed by our flaws. If we could see past our flaws as failures and ask how we can use them to our advantage, if we could learn to embrace them instead of pushing them away, we too could create beauty in the world for others. Our flaws are also the source of our strength. Anonymous
It's okay to be a cracked pot. We're all cracked in some way, but we're all special in the universe. And the universe needs each one of us.
I wish you days of making flowers for the world.