Filling the cracks with gold: Infertility & the nagging question,why me?

“When the Japanese mend broken objects, they aggrandize the damage by filling the cracks with gold. They believe that when something’s suffered damage and has a history it becomes more beautiful.” 
~Barbara Bloom

I suppose it is the age old question, why me?

The question that almost everyone, at some point in their life, faced with adversity, pain, and sorrow, asks themselves.

Why me?

Why must I be dragged through this proverbial mud, with my face smashed into the dirt?

Why must I have my heart broken in more ways than I ever thought possible?

It is the ultimate question, the illusive, unanswerable question. Why me?

What we sometimes forget is that alleviation from pain does not come from the answer. Yes, we can jump on the gerbil wheel attempting to find the reason why our burdens have been doubled while those of others always seem to be halved, yet those burdens will still remain–regardless of the answer.

When we have suffered cracks, when our burdens have become so heavy that parts of our hearts, even of our bodies, break, it may be in that cracking, that breaking, that we become more beautiful.

Over these last few years, struggling with infertility, and struggling to tackle the most difficult journeys of my lifetime (marriage and a PhD), I have had many an occasion to sit in contemplation of “why me?”

There I have sat, for hours on end, wondering why others conceive without even trying, breeze through their dissertation without road blocks, and never a cross word passes between them and their spouse. Why them?

Yet, I know, deep down I know, that every crack in the cup of my life, though it hurt like hell when it was cracking, has been inlaid with gold. The gold of struggle that has made me into the woman I am. I would like to say that given the choice I would opt for a flawless cup, yet I suppose when I step outside of the struggle, really I would not.

Flawless cups are pretty, yet they are a dime a dozen, and no one can really tell the difference between them. They are like the duplicate dishes in a box of Wal-Mart china.

No, I will take my veins of gold. I will take the specs of life’s pain that make me illuminate a dark room, somewhat like the Light Bright set I loved to spend hours playing with as a child.

You see, it is suffering the damage, having a history, that makes each of us more beautiful. Yes, I would like to be able to easily conceive. Yes, I would like for my marriage to unfold with no trace of argument or upset. Yes, I would like for my dissertation to proceed according to plan. But then, I would not appreciate any of it, not even a single moment. Because then, life would be like the duplicate china in a Wal-Mart dish box–only boring shades of gray.

Fill your cracks with gold. Find the beauty that lies hidden in the breaking. And when you do, the light you will have to illuminate the world, and your future child, will take the your breath away.


  1. You have no idea how much I needed to hear your words today. I am 26 years old and have been suffering for almost two years now (unexplainable infertility). Thank you so much for your blogs. It helps me get through my days and reminds me that I am not alone.
    Thank you,

    1. Melinda,
      You are so very welcome, and you are not alone. We are all here with you, though not physically by your side, always in the ethers cheering you on. Hang in there and take good care of you as you move through this, one of life’s greatest challenges.

      Best to you,

  2. What a beautiful image…I must confess, that while I hate that I have to walk this road, I can see changes in me as a result. More compassion, sensitivity, capacity, even a whole range of skills and experiences I’ve collected in other parts alongside the timeframe of this journey. Your lovely words have given me permission to look for the gold in all my broken places. Thank you.

    1. You are most welcome Kate. I would hazard to guess that the gold in those broken places is truly a beautiful sight to behold! How wonderful that you are able to open your eyes to all that IF has brought to your life–the pain and the growth.


  3. Such a beautiful picture, a beautiful analogy, and a beautiful truth. The hard times are what set us apart, make us stronger, and prepare us for even bigger blessings in the future. May I always see the gold whenever I feel cracked and damaged. Thanks!

    1. And so shall it be!

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