Favorite Mug

This is my favorite mug. I’ve been drinking my morning tea from this mug for 20 years.

My hand fits perfectly through the handle so I can feel the warmth of the pottery in my palm. My thumb rests perfectly in a groove on top of the handle. It feels just right.

This mug holds 16 oz of tea. It takes me about an hour to drink my tea in the morning. I sit and stare into space. It’s my time to listen to the morning and have what I call “original thoughts” that rise up through me organically.

This mug was given to me by a man who is no longer in my life. He liked everything in his life to be perfect. This mug has a very small chip in the glaze on the under side of the handle. He gave me this mug because it was imperfect. He didn’t want an imperfect mug.

I love that imperfection so much. I feel for it each time I sit with this mug. I feel relieved when I find it and run my finger over it.

As a child, I sat with some Native women who were beading. They showed me how each necklace they made contained a mistake. One red bead on a turquoise necklace. A white bead in a row of black. They said that the spirits don’t like it when we try to do everything perfectly. The mistakes create more opportunities for more love.

In my 20’s, I volunteered at an elementary school 1 day a week offering Sand tray and Non-directive Play Therapy. Week after week the children picked out broken toys to play with (and identify with.) One little girl loved a horse with 3 legs. She picked that horse every week to play with in the sand tray. One week we couldn’t find the 3-legged horse. It was very hard for her that the horse was missing.

I asked the program director about it. She told me (proudly) that she had thrown out all the broken toys and replaced them with new ones. I thought to myself that she truly misunderstood play therapy and how it works.

It was my honor to witness those children show me the parts of themselves that felt broken. I gave them my full attention and allowed them to make all the decisions (as long as they were safe.) What they showed me and communicated with me in their play was a sacred gift.

There’s something profoundly beautiful about being with our imperfections and flaws and making it okay to be broken and struggling sometimes.

I’m so grateful to have a life that has generously included all these and many more opportunities to understand such things.

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