Every day when I am taking a shower and getting dressed, I cannot help but notice the visible scars that dot my body. I earned my first scars, thanks to the chicken pox virus that my two older sisters exposed me to when I only 6 months old. I only had six spots, yet three left their mark on my wrist, face, and thigh to remind me of this event that I was too young to ever remember. There’s the faded scar on my wrist from burning myself on a pan when I was in the kitchen when I was a little girl, and the scars on both of my legs from surgeries over the years. There’s also the scar on my knee from an embarrassing incident during my first night in Boston, which is definitely another story that will remain untold! There are other visible scars, as well, but the invisible scars are the ones that are the most significant.
When one has a physical wound, it is generally treated and cared for until it heals completely. When one has an invisible wound, it is easy for it to be ignored or discounted by both the wounded and the would be caretakers, until eventually the wound cannot be hidden any longer. The only way for the inner wound to heal is for it to be exposed, tended to, and allowed to heal and then develop a scar. As anyone who has had such a wound knows, though, that is easier said than done. However, it can and must be done, and when it is done, the decision must me made how the scar is viewed.
It is easy for me to accept my visible scars, although some I definitely choose to hide more than others, and for the most part, I am at peace with my invisible scars. However, recently, I allowed my mind to wander into dangerous territory, as I felt a pang of shame surrounding some of the more recent invisible scars. Rather than give myself the credit I deserve for everything that it took to survive the wounds and to heal from them, I found myself regretting ever being wounded and worrying that these past wounds would come back to haunt me in the present, as I move forward with my life and learn to create and nurture healthy relationships.
I spent the better part of a day wallowing in this fear and regret, but as day turned into night, I found myself refocusing on the scars, not the past wounds. As I drifted off to sleep, the welcomed feelings of peace and acceptance returned. I am more than these past wounds, and these special scars serve as reminders of what I have overcome and are just another part of the patchwork of experiences that have made me who I am today. They are neither good or bad; they are merely scars. There are sure to be more visible and invisible scars along the way, and I will learn to embrace them, as well.
That’s another story . . .
Categories: That's Another Story