kintsukuroi

We all are heroes.   By the very fact we are here on this planet shows that we have succeeded over untold odds; overcoming challenges and enduring the toughest conditions known to existence. And in the small chapters of this process we call ‘our lives’ is an epic journey in itself. Here is my version of the hero’s journey…

Born into a loving family environment life started well, however, it’s become apparent that even the time I spent in my mother’s womb wasn’t a bed of roses! While my mother was pregnant with me, her mother was dying of cancer and a few months before I arrived she passed away. It’s possible the emotional effect of this on my mother was passed on to me in the womb, which may explain why from as soon as I was able to crawl I would often bang my head so hard on the floor that I would nearly knock myself out.

Although somewhat emotionally confusing, life in the early years was relatively pleasant for me, I was a sensitive soul contented with my own company. I found great pleasure just sitting in the garden and enjoying nature, my memories of this time were of beauty and peace.

Unfortunately around the age of 9 years old my parent’s relationship started to break down. Over the following two years it got worse and worse, my mum and dad would shout at each other on a daily basis and I found the anger between them hugely traumatic. I had no idea why this was happening and nobody spoke to me about what was going on. I no longer felt loved and desperately wanted some attention so I began to self harm, it started when I slipped and cut myself with a saw in woodwork, I then kept the wound open for weeks with a metal ruler. This evolved to various forms of cutting, burning and eventually fantastising about my own death.

At the age of 11 years old my mum left my dad and we moved to another town to be near my mum’s sister and her family. I hated it. The school, the environment, the circumstances, my mum, my brother, my self, I hated them all. My early teenage years were a lonely place, it was like living in a nightmare, a slave to the unconsciousness of the world around me. Although I stopped physically harming myself at around the age of 16, the emotional wounds were still very open as I had never spoke to anyone about the turmoil I had/was experiencing.

At the age of 18 I left to go to University and I started this new chapter with a blank canvas, onto which I created a portrait of the person I had wanted to be all of my life. Confident, outgoing, funny, popular, being my True Self; this was a golden year of my life. I met my now wife on the first day and within a couple of weeks we were officially together, strangely enough I had little interest in girls but Sinead was truly an angel sent from heaven, the girl I had always dreamed of. The first year of University was one of excess – drink, drugs, clubbing and partying with very little attention to my university course at all.

Come the second year of uni I was running on empty. Shortly after the year started my auntie was found having an affair with her best friend, she left my uncle and the whole family seemed to fall apart. A short while later my uncle died of an epileptic fit, it sent shock waves through the family and the little sense of stability I had suddenly disappeared. One evening I suffered I major anxiety attack and within minutes I plummeted into a world of darkness. My confidence disappeared, replaced by chronic anxiety. I could hardly speak to my friend and housemates, I had no idea what was happening, it was like all my demons had risen at once, still I spoke to no one about how I felt, not even my girlfriend. I continued to try and uphold the persona I was living by – confident and outgoing – which is torture when you feel like you’re dying inside.

Over the course of the second year of uni, I felt like I was drowning in a dark swamp of fear. Eventually, with a lot of exercise and focus I managed to find my footing and wade out of that swamp, still I hadn’t uttered a word to anyone about what I was going through. I finished my 3rd year of uni in a good place and went on to buy my first house, which was in a very bad state, it needed completely refurbishing from top to bottom and, although I had no experience in any kind of renovation work, I threw everything I had into the project – time, money, emotion and energy. Over the course of around 8 months I worked myself into the ground and suffered a major burnout. I explored the darkness with feelings of fear, self doubt, anxiety, paranoia, global catastrophe and so on. In this world of darkness I was forced to seek help, I finally shared the burden of my life with my girlfriend and so began a long healing process.

Over the following years my life took a roller coaster ride of climbing high with help, therapy and support and getting myself to a good place. When I was in a good place I would take on other challenges in the form of starting a business, moving house, getting married all of which followed with another crash into the abyss. I learned a huge amount from these experiences and each time of coming through them I was able to look back and feel true gratitude for the challenges I had experienced.

The last major crash I had took me to a place far beyond anything I had ever experienced before. When several major life changes all came at once I explored the depth of the darkness in ways I could never have conceived. Over the course of a year I spend many days, weeks and months in a state of terror, fearful for my life, fearful for the planet, deep senses of failure, inadequacy, depression, desperation, and despair. I had had suicidal thoughts in the past but in this episode I was hounded by them day in and day out, to a point where on several occasions I nearly took my own life. Thankfully I had some amazing help and support and, in no less than a miracle, I managed to make it through.

In the latest few months of my life I have truly stepped into the light. And in connecting with this beautiful and serene place, the universe is showing it’s true love and guidance. Miracles happen on a daily basis and life flows in a way that I could once only dream of. The future now seems bright, yes there are clouds of challenge but the power that has been gained by working those muscles of conscious awareness have formulated a connection to the divine that is now laying the golden path ahead of me.

Kintsukurio is the Japanese art of fixing broken pottery with gold. I feel the challenges I’ve had in my life, the times when I’ve fallen, broken and regrouped has created veins within my character that have been filled with gold and are now stronger and more beautiful than if I had never been dropped at all. Let us all fill the cracks in our lives with gold and embark on our heroes journey to encourage and inspire all those who might feel they are broken beyond repair.

With love and light.

Save

The following two tabs change content below.
A garden and landscape deisgner by trade, runs a garden design business called Outer Space soon to be changing to Gardens for Good. My amazing wife and i have been together for 17 years, married for 7. We have 3 beautiful boys who really are amazing. Life has been a rollercoaster ride, had some great triumphs at times but waded through the sh*t a fair few times as well. Time to make a difference. Time to change the game. : )

Latest posts by Joe Francis (see all)

Password Reset

Please enter your e-mail address. You will receive a new password via e-mail.