Scars, In & Out

As I was shaving my legs this morning I noticed all the scars on my legs. Some are new and some are old. People have always said that they tell the story of your life but I got to thinking that they tell, for me, something deeper. They tell of lessons learned and some yet to be learned either by myself or by others. Some of the scars can be seen and others remain hidden underneath the surface of skin, muscle and tissue. Although hidden they can sometimes be the most painful. And some scars are self-inflicted and others we unfortunately may sustain due to others hands or maybe due to illness or disease. We have no control over these scars but we do have control over our long term response to them. It may be seeking intense therapy, in some cases medication is necessary

Some stories are forgotten but the lessons remain in our hearts, our minds and our souls. They come to the surface when needed and we don't even realize where they have come from. But they have emanated from those deep scars and keep us sometimes safe and sane. At other times the stories may come flooding back years later to remind us of a teachable moment in the present. A reminder to be different, do different. Prepare us for what may be coming. We learn when we have the capacity and maturity to understand.

I had that moment this morning. I looked at my wrist and saw a faint scar. The memory came flooding back. In seventh grade sitting at my desk being so unhappy because of all the attention that boys were giving me because of my developing body. Nobody had ever paid me any attention before and suddenly they were teasing me and touching me. Being nice to me just to get near me so they could touch me some more. I sat at my desk and began scraping at my wrist with my pen. For a full hour I sat there working away at it. Fortunately not understanding anatomy and not having anything sharper I didn't do much damage. Funny thing is that my parents never noticed.

And what have I learned from this memory that is decades old and presents itself now? A lesson in boundaries. It was one that I learned late in life for myself and this lesson is too late for me to share with my children. But perhaps this becomes an opportunity for me to help teach my grandchildren. Or maybe even someone else in my life whether it's someone who is here now or will enter my life later. You see I believe not all of our scars are meant just to be lessons for us. They can be lessons for others.

My Parents

I witnessed the strength and character my parents had when their son died. How they held their marriage together, how they sought help for themselves and asked for assistance when they needed it. How they weren't afraid to talk about their loss with people who had suffered the same pain even years later and try to support them and hold them as they wept. I learned so much from their deep, painful scar that they carried with them through the rest of their lives.

And that's the thing that binds this world of human beings together. All of us have scars. No one leaves this life without them. It doesn't matter what ethnicity, gender, religion or where you come from in this have scars. In and Out! Can the scars tell a story, yes. But I believe the deeper meaning is the lesson. And when we see the lesson we recognize also the strength of who we are to have reached our place in the world. Learning for me means that I have conquered the story and whatever happened no longer has meaning.

Live.Grow.Be in Lessons


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