I got out of the hot tub last night and as I was getting ready for bed I noticed a scar I have had for nearly sixteen years. The scar is the result of a surgery where I formed a horribly painful rope-like raised keloid which then was "corrected" by a plastic surgeon after which it was much worse than what I started with. Over the years thankfully, it has very gradually flattened and it is no longer painful and only the one end of the scar is still raised and deep red. Last night I noticed that this red tip actually has formed a cartoon animal type figure. It could be a dog or cat or even a baby brontosaurus! I haven't decided which it most resembles but what struck me as I looked at it was that this scar which I have hated (for good reasons) for so many years is now causing me to smile.
That got me thinking about scars in general. We all have them. We have physical scars from all the bumps and scrapes we've endured through the years and we have emotional and psychological scars as well. I don't think it is possible to get through life without at least some scars.
But are scars bad? Well, wounds do need to be treated, no matter what kind of wounds they are. And sometimes even with treatment a large scar still remains. But as I do my own healing work and find the scars in my life that need to be healed I have discovered that the scars are also what makes me me! I have grown and matured in and around the scars. My scars can be triggered in ways that are uniquely mine. My scars are a good reminder of my humanity, my individuality, my life's path.
And as I learn to own my scars, to acknowledge when I have over-reacted, for instance, because I got triggered, or whatever, I am able to show myself compassion and understanding. And the more I do that, the more I am able to extend that compassion to those around me. We all have our quirks; we all have our beliefs; we all see the world from our own perspective.
But the more we learn about our own perspective and the more we see that it is just that, our perspective based on all that has happened to us and probably most influenced by whatever scarring we have undergone, the more we can relate to others and understand that they are doing the same thing, working from their perspective which, like ours, has been molded by whatever they have undergone.
So now, as I try to figure out just what animal is smiling back at me in the mirror (and it is even right side up and looking at me!), I shall try embracing my scars and not being ashamed of them or hiding them away. The more we try to hide parts of ourselves, the larger those parts become until they warp everything. I realize that I need to embrace all of me, scars and all, because each and every part of me contributes to the larger picture of who I am as a person, unique, wonderful, quirky, and difficult.
That's it for now. It is once again pouring rain, as in torrential downpours, here in the Pacific Northwest, but thankfully my pets and I can stay inside warm and dry and snuggling together. I hope you have a wonderful day!