Loving My Scars

 DSCN6944“Never be ashamed of a scar. It simply means you were stronger than whatever tried to hurt you.”  ~Unknown

 

 

 

I have lived my life with many scars.  Those visible childhood scars from when I fell off my bike.  Or the time my hand went through the plate-glass storm door…ouch and long story.  And then my first serious car accident where I hit the steering wheel (before seat belts-yes I am that old), and my teeth went through my chin…lots of stitches.

 

 

DSCN6215And there are the not so visible scars…I don’t mean the ones from surgery….mine from last year is still healing nicely, thanks for asking.  No, I mean those scars we hide inside.  When we were deeply hurt for the first time.  Mine was a Kindergarten teacher on my first day in a new school and she crushed my spirit...a scar that stayed with me, unseen even by me until a few years ago.  When it came bubbling up to the surface, I realized that this scar had led to some self-defeating ideas I had been harboring for almost 50 years.  WOW!

 

 

And the scars that built on that first one….the stories I believed about how I was not artistic, or creative, and yes Mr. Driver’s Ed teacher who said I would never learn to drive.  OK there are some who may have agreed with him (and secretly still do).  And my thesis team…those professors I had to convince I was worthy of passing by successfully defending my Master’s thesis….those who took pride and pleasure in trying to make me look not so smart or accomplished.

 

 

DSCN6957Yes, I could go on with the ruminations from when I started work….it is an endless reel of tape that sometimes plays in my head.  But at some point these scars tend to heal over only opening again when someone close to me, personally or professionally, would say something nasty.  And over the years I built up a thick skin around those scars so as not to feel them there.

 

 

But they are there.  I even built a high wall from all the bricks thrown at me over the years.  In fact, the wall became so high I began to feel suffocated, claustrophobic and isolated.  So I finally burst through the wall.  And instead of viewing my scars as something to keep hidden, I have brought them out to the light of day where I can see them, and they can heal.

 

 

I now view my scars as gifts….gifts that have led me down my path…the path where I am DSCN7502meant to go.  They are my strength.  They showcase my resilience.  And I am darn proud of them.  Sometimes I write about my scars here….it helps me to heal them, and sometimes it helps others.  I am not depressed or upset about them or the lessons they are teaching me….actually it makes me happier when I can talk about them, and then let them go.

 

 

So you see I really do love my scars.  Those that show the physical or emotional pain of my life….they are me…an important part of me.  They help me to continue to embrace my vulnerabilities.  Without them, I would never have been able to truly love my whole self, scars and all.  They have become a kind of Superpower that assures me that whatever is happening, I will have the strength to get through it.

 

 

DSCN7270I am still figuring out the “get through it” part.  For me, it is like putting on a soothing balm to heal the wounds and scars.  But it is an individual journey…we all process let downs, disappointments, and grief in our own unique way.  Sometimes I surrender and let go….sometimes I decide to walk away and not engage….and sometimes I fight head-on into the fire coming out a little scraped and bruised, but again wiser, stronger, and oh so much happier.

 

 

 

Note:   In the Language of Flowers, daffodils represent self-love.  And I chose white daffodils, as white represents light, goodness and safety.

 

 

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I leave you with another thought about self-love.  Feel free to download this photo and share.

self-love

All other photos and original content is copyrighted and the sole property of Donna Donabella @ Living From Happiness, 2014-2015.  Any reprints or use of other photos or content is by permission only.

29 Replies to “Loving My Scars”

  1. those scars run deep when we believe the hurts are the truth – seems you’ve healed them to skin level Donna. 🙂
    They are like our lines that come with age – the years of smiles and frowns that make us look so human rather than a frozen robot.
    p.s. Beautiful narcissi images to accompany this post Donna – his hurts were of course all self-absorbed vanity driven

    pps missed your Kindergarten teacher post so took time to read it now- terrible impacts these teachers can have on us before we are old enough for defence mechanisms

    1. Maybe that is why I became the teacher I did Laura…making sure not to inflict these words or at least tried to…I agree that our scars are like our smile and frown lines…they seem to go hand in hand don’t they.

  2. A timely lesson, wonderfully offered through the lens of personal experience. Thank you!

    Your post reminded me of wisdom once offered by a colleague after I’d suffered through a particularly brutal meeting. He wrapped his arms around me and told me to make a pearl. When asked what he meant he stated if I would consciously take the hurt from that experience and surround it with love – my own and the love of others – in time it would become a beautiful pearl. I remain deeply grateful for the lesson. I cannot avoid hurt or harm but I can choose how I will respond.

    1. Deb you are so wise and what a tremendous lesson to share here…so many have already commented how your lesson of the pearl helped them. I can’t agree more that it is how we choose to respond that is most important not the hurt itself. Thank you for such a wonderful lesson.

  3. This is a precious subject for me and you have done it justice and more. I have the scar from the surgery that took all my thyroid after the discovery of cancer there and it just opened doors. It seemed like something to remind me to never allow that throat chakra to close again. I needed to speak my truth, write it, howl it, laugh it. It doesn’t show much, but I know it is there and sometimes people run the tips of a gentle finger over my throat. The scar from the lumpectomy in my breast is nearly gone, though the surgeon went in FOUR times for clean margins. He told me I could go topless. I said “knock yourself out Doc.” And he did. Yes, our scars. We own them don’t we.

    1. I think when we acknowledge them, we tend to live in the light more…I appreciate you sharing your scars too Susie…that throat chakra is so important isn’t it.

  4. Oh wow, I went back to read the kindergarten story, and that teacher was so mean! Even if you had lost the puzzle piece, which you didn’t, it would have been a honest mistake and she didn’t have to come down so hard on you. But she didn’t listen to you or believe you, which made it worse. Good for your mom to ream her out! You are right that these early negative childhood experiences can leave a scar and damage our self-esteem. But we can definitely heal once we recognize the untruth in the damaging words and actions, and we learn to love ourselves. Great post, Donna 🙂

  5. You are onto something here Donna. Again another post that makes me think & I love it! Don’t you think it’s interesting that men (and even Action Man dolls) are proud of their scars and the stories behind them and traditionally women will cover theirs up with make up? Here I am talking about the visible scars, you take it to a whole other level with the emotional scars. Good on you for baring yours to the world and showing the strength that these scars have created in you.
    Wren x

    1. Thanks my friend…yes, women are taught that our scars are ugly and we should hide them…our outer beauty is thought to be so much more important….but we know it is not…it is the scars that make us stronger and more beautiful!

  6. I love that quote by that unknown author and your determination to accept your scars, Donna. We all have many scars and we all have to live with them but there is quite a difference between how individual people cope with them. It’s interesting that as vulnerable as we are, as strong we are as well, there are so many sources of strength within us… I loved what TexasDeb wrote in her comment about that pearl… attitude changes everything.

    1. That quote always brings tears to my eyes Petra…it reminds me that I am strong even when I may be hurting. I am so glad TexasDeb share her Pearl story…that was so enlightening and a great way to work through any hurts.

  7. I guess my inner scars never surfaced, but I don’t remember those being so nasty in my earlier life. I am glad you find solace in all the misfortune and bad behavior of others. Looking to learn from them must be important to good mental health. Self exploration is good, but when these things surface so late in life, it seems like talking to a professional would help even more.

    1. I think when we can’t move on from our scars, yes professional help may be necessary. Case in point, my mom had a hard life and she never processed through lots of it….so now as she has more loss and changes she is needing professional help.

  8. It is amazing what the healing power of self love can do to help heal all of the wounds that have left those scars. Powerful post. xo Laura

  9. When we realize how many scars all of us bear in the world, we begin to understand compassion — and forgiveness. Wonderful post, Donna.

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