We carry scars both externally and internally. They can be ugly and painful reminders of traumatic events that twisted us up, tore us open, and spit us out.
Some scars are very visible, even when they're not physical. Think of the people you've met where you just knew they had a chip on their shoulder about something.
Some hide just enough that others can't see them. They may be tucked behind clothing like my surgical scar or on your heart from a recent break up. They're not buried, just hidden. They're right there on the surface and easily encountered. (If you're not on my email list, you probably haven't heard the story on how I got the scar in this picture. I give a brief introduction to it in my Welcome email.)
And some are buried so deep they're almost forgotten until something reminds us they still exist.
These are the ones that have scarred our souls.
The ones that prevent us from feeling empowered to live authentically.
And yet, really, all scars are a blessing. I can hear you saying, "Pam, WTF? My scars are not blessings!!" Hear me out though...
Scars are a natural part of the healing process.
Yes, they can be ugly. Yes, they can be painful reminders of a bad or even horrific experience. But they are also a reminder of our ability to overcome those experiences, to move forward, to start again.
They are a badge of honor to our resilience.
Scars speak to our capability to surmount obstacles. We should view them not by the pain that caused them, but by the strength it took to heal.
Looking at them this way allows us to see the scars in a more positive light. This attracts positive energy. Our self-confidence is boosted because we recognize our ability to carry on despite issues we have encountered.
Yes, there may be further healing that is necessary. Yes, you will never be the same. But how you view the incident that created your scar can have a profound effect on your life.
You can let it stop you or you can use it as a springboard for something greater. Consider the Japanese art of Kintsugi - which uses gold to repair cracks in broken objects. Our scars represent those repaired cracks. As Tiffany Ayudi explains "Sometimes in the process of repairing things that have broken, we actually create something more unique, beautiful and resilient."
This doesn't mean you can't do something about your scars. To be honest, I'm considering tattooing over at least a portion of mine, if I can. But that doesn't mean I don't recognize it for what it is - a testimony to my innate ability to heal and become whole again. Maybe not perfectly. Maybe not without some residual pain. But still whole. Scars speak to our ability to change. Yes, there is a whole process we may have to go through to get to that point, but it all starts with one decision. We can remember the pain and the fear and stay stuck. Or we can remember how we survived and healed and move forward. Which one will you choose?