The Cracks Let the Light In

post by Si Martin

September, 26 2023

3 read

The cracks let the light in! It’s been a staple hoodie in our shop for a while now. So let’s dive into the meaning behind it. Watch Si explain in the video below, or you can read along with the text underneath!

If the video doesn’t play, try clicking here to watch on YouTube instead!

The cracks let the light in. Here’s how this concept is relevant for you. As a society, we’re all quite obsessed with the idea of perfection. Whether that’s touching up or filtering our photos, tidying up our mess of a house for when people come over, or not wanting to try something new in case we’re not instantly good at it.

But the truth is: life’s not perfect.But you’re not broken just because you’re not perfect. We’ve all got flaws. We’ve all got issues affect us. We’ve all got metaphorical cracks.


But there’s this Japanese concept called Kintsugi. Which is repairing broken objects with gold or silver, which actually draws attention to the fact it’s been repaired. So it adds to the beauty of the item – it actually makes it one of a kind. Kintsugi treats both the break, and the repair, as part of the history of the object, rather than something to disguise or hide away.

But how is this relevant to you?

Well. I guess this is the perfect metaphor for the fact that when you feel like you’ve been broken, it’s not the end of your story. It’s a part of your history, for sure. But you don’t need to hide that, or shy away from it. In some cases, it can even become a beautiful thing that we celebrate. Like a testament to our growth, and resilience. It’s also something that’s unique to you, and gives you a unique view on the world

Framing our experiences

I guess the other point on how the cracks let the light in is that it’s about how we frame our experiences. And I hate the expression “everything happens for a reason” but sometimes, you make the reason. Like. If I hadn’t gone through a really rubbish time, and struggled with depression and self-harm, I wouldn’t have started Heads Above The Waves, and be sharing ideas for how to cope. I could’ve seen my negative experiences purely as “cracks” – as damage.

But actually, they’re part of my history. They’re what’s led me to where I am today. While we don’t have the choice over what happens to us, we do have the choice over how we see the things that happen to us.

Story time

There’s this old Chinese proverb:

Once upon a time, there was an old farmer who had worked his crops for many years. One day his horse ran away. Upon hearing the news, his neighbors came to visit. “Such bad luck,” they said sympathetically, “you must be so sad.”

“We’ll see,” the farmer replied.

The next morning the horse returned, bringing with it two other wild horses.

“How wonderful,” the neighbors exclaimed!  “Not only did your horse return, but you received two more.  What great fortune you have!”

“We’ll see,” answered the farmer

The following day, his son tried to ride one of the untamed horses, was thrown, and broke his leg. The neighbors again came to offer their sympathy on his misfortune.  “Now your son cannot help you with your farming,” they said.  “What terrible luck you have!”

“We’ll see,” replied the old farmer.

The following week, military officials came to the village to conscript young men into the army. Seeing that the son’s leg was broken, they passed him by. The neighbors congratulated the farmer on how well things had turned out. “Such great news. You must be so happy!”

The man smiled to himself and said once again.

“We’ll see,”

You can do this!

So I think choosing to see the cracks as a way to let the light in, is simply a case of choosing to look at the things that happen to us in a different light. That things aren’t inherently good or bad. They’re all part of the ride. Sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind. But you’ve survived being both ahead and behind. There’s always hope. You can get through anything that life throws at you.

If you found this helpful

Then please pick up some merch with a message! It’s our main way of generating funds to keep Heads Above The Waves going. You get some quality grams, and we get to keep on being there for people who struggle with their mental health. Result.

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