Scars. Emotional scars.
We hear about them in songs and in movies and we all have them. We hear terms like “…and I have the scars to prove it” and “It has scarred me for life”. What’s so wrong with having scars though? A scar is what’s left behind after a wound or an injury has healed. Healed. Recovered. Is no more. A scar is an indicator that something happened (past tense), was dealt with, and as a result is no longer an issue. It’s a reminder of what has happened, without the pain. It’s a sign of health – unhealthy bodies do not heal quickly or properly, or sometimes at all, neither do unhealthy minds. It’s a sign that we’ve done the hard work of cleaning and dressing and taking care of that wound, and giving it time and a healthy environment in which to heal well. A scar ought to be a sign of maturity, of wisdom, for from each emotional wound sustained a lesson or lessons should have been learned.
What we have walking around with are not scars, they are gaping wounds. We have our open wounds walking around with for the world to see. We tell those we come in contact with to “take us or leave us”, that “that’s just the way we are”, that “she’s just rough”, or that “he’s just rude”… but it’s not true. The truth is we need to move from having wounds to having scars, and it’s up to us. Every time we tell ourselves that’s just who we are, or lash out at someone else because of our own pain, disappointment or insecurity we are ‘picking’ that wound and keeping it open or even enlarging it. Every time we pretend it’s not there, what we’re really doing is neglecting the area and leaving it open to infection. When we insist on spending time focusing on who is to blame rather than what happened and why, forgiving and being forgiven, accepting the past as past, and moving on, we are insisting on being unhealthy.
Some scars disappear with time, some are barely visible, and others are obvious, but they are all beautiful because they are a symbol of responsibility, of care, of patience, of growth, of maturity, of wisdom.
Open wounds make us disgusting and limit us; scars make us wise and interesting.