Never Be Ashamed of Your Scars

It simply means you were stronger than whatever tried to hurt you.

Everyone has scars. Some we see, and some we don’t.

A friend of mine recently had a serious surgery. It was going to involve a 6-8 week recovery time, and most likely a lot of pain for the first few weeks afterwards. But that wasn’t her biggest concern. She was more worried about the scar she’d have on the front of her neck, even though the surgeon assured her it would be so tiny no one would notice it after a few weeks.

He was absolutely correct. It’s so small, and unless you’re looking for it, and it’s pointed out to you, you’d never notice it at all. But she still does.

Another friend of mine has a scar on her face where she was hit by a tree branch. The doctor who repaired it did such a good job that I never noticed it for the first several years I knew her. It wasn’t until she pointed it out to me that I saw it, but it’s certainly not noticeable to anyone else unless you look for it. But she sees it every day.

I have a scar on my wrist from surgery to repair a fracture. Yes, it was ugly at first, but by taking care of it afterwards, you can barely see it. No one else would unless I showed it to them. I don’t even think about it any more.

My husband has a huge scar down the front of his chest from two open heart surgeries. At first they were red, and puffy, angry looking, even. Now you barely notice them unless you’re really looking for them. But they are a reminder of two vital procedures that were necessary to sustain his life. He wears them proudly.

One of our daughter’s good friends has a son who needed open heart surgery when he was just a few months old. It was scary, but he’s fine, and that huge scar he had at first is already all but faded into oblivion. She and her husband still see it, and it reminds them of the miracle they experienced for their son, but like my other friends’ scars, I barely notice it.

These physical scars are our badges of honor. We wear them as reminders of things we’ve gone through. And they remind us we’re survivors, and that we can handle what comes against us.

But there are a lot of scars we all keep hidden. Emotional scars that are on the inside that no one will ever see. We don’t even see them, but we know they’re there, because they can come back to haunt us when we least expect it. Those scars aren’t erased except by time, experience, friendship, love, and faith.

Like most of our physical scars, no one notices them except us. We hide them. We know they’re there. But very few other people will ever see them, or even know what we’re battling with.

But the emotional scars are just as real as the physical ones. They just don’t show….physically. But like physical scars, they are reminders of difficult things we’ve gone through in our lives and survived. Whatever caused those emotional scars wasn’t fun, wasn’t easy, but they’re a reminder of a battle hard-fought…and won.

But unlike our physical scars, the emotional ones hurt for awhile. The relationship scars especially. We try to ignore them, but sometimes those scars decide to throb, to turn bright red, and remind us that they’re still there.

And we feel like we’re starting over again.

Our emotional scars are real, and they last for years, and sometimes a lifetime. No matter how deep they’re buried, certain events can trigger emotions related to those scars, and you feel like you’re back where you started.

There’s one important thing to remember, though. Those scars are there as reminders only. Because scars are only the remnants from situations. They represent the healing that took place after the event, albeit surgery, injury, or an emotional trauma. The scars cover over the hurt, the pain, and cause us to heal. They’re supposed to bury that pain and trauma.

So why do we keep opening those old wounds? They only cause us to create new scars over the old. And I don’t want that any more than you do.

Once a painful event in your life is over, there’s no reason to re-open that scar. Like the physical scars I have, and I’m sure you have as well, opening them up again only makes them bigger. More visible. More pronounced. And more of a constant reminder of pain that’s long gone and over with. Why open it up and cause more pain? Let it go. Put it behind you once and for all and watch it fade away to nothing.

As the first paragraph of this says, scars show us you were stronger than what tried to hurt you. Because you survived, and have your badge of courage to prove it.

I have mine, and so do my friends.

Where are yours? And how did you earn them?

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