This came across my email last week:
"A water bearer in India had two large pots, each hung on either end of a pole which he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it, and while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water at the end of the long walk from the stream to the master's house, the cracked pot arrived only half full.
For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water to his master's house. The perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, but the cracked pot was miserable, ashamed that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do. After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, the cracked pot spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream.
"I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you." "Why? What are you ashamed of?" asked the bearer. "I have been able, for these past two years, to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your master's house. Because of my flaws, you have to do all of this work, and you don't get full value from your efforts," the pot said.
The water bearer felt compassion and said, "As we return to the master's house, I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path." Indeed, as they went up the hill, the old cracked pot took notice of the sun warming many beautiful wild flowers on the side of the path, and this cheered it some. But at the end of the trail, it still felt bad because it had leaked out half its load, and so again it apologized to the bearer for its failure.
The bearer said to the pot, "Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of the path, but not on the other pot's side? That is because I have always known about your crack. Accepting what was given to me, I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back from the stream, you've watered them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my master's table. Without you being just the way you are, he would not have this beauty to grace his house."
- Author Unknown
What I hope this will do for you is what it did for me. Instead of holding myself hostage for all I haven’t lived up to and my own usually impossible high standards of what I “should be” by now, I can appreciate my cracks. I know if I was whole in all ways the flowers in my life - like my daughter for one - would probably not have grown. Now I can see how the cracks allow us to slowly and lovingly water the lives around us and that this is, perhaps, as it should be. What seeds have been planted that only your cracks can water?
We're all cracked in some way. Usually only we ourselves notice these cracks, while everyone else sees and enjoys the roadside flowers. What a blessing to realize you are cracked, for then you have the chance to grow whole in the ways you choose, or stay as you are. So celebrate your cracks along with their results, the nurturing they provide to countless lives. What more wonderful reminder can there be of our intricate and inexplicable connections, and that nothing - no thing - is wasted?