Do you remember the scene in the movie Jaws when Richard Dreyfuss and Robert Shaw were on the boat comparing their scars?
Their conversation became a competition and they proudly shared them as badges of survival from encounters life had thrown them.
Most of us can relate to scars because we all have them whether they are physical, emotional or both.
Some scars are visible for the world to see.
Like the 6-inch scar, on my right knee or the one on the inside of my right ankle. Both from two separate motorcycle accidents that could have left me without a foot, or completely taken my life, as I was hurled across an intersection after being struck by a car.
Other scars are not quite so visible and go deeper, taking the most time to heal. Like heartbreak from the loss of a loved one or words that tried to latch on to us telling us we have no value. They are the ones we tend to hide from others, and they can plague us for years leaving us insecure, feeling ugly and at times unworthy.
No matter how many times we chanted “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” as a kid, the truth is, words hurt worse than most physical pain.
“My scars tell a story. They are a reminder of times when life tried to break me but failed. They are markings of where the structure of my character was welded.” ~ Steve Maraboli
Scars remind us that our past is real and we are survivors.
There once was a time when I tried to hide my scars. It took me years to wear shorts because I was so self-conscience of the ugly mark on my knee.
But I had become a pro at hiding the emotional scars as well.
When others asked how I was doing, I’d reply with “I’m doing great” never wanting to show the ugliness I felt inside.
“To be alive at all is to have scars.” ~ John Steinbeck
Be willing to show your scars.
Scars remind us of where we’ve been and what we have endured, but they don’t dictate where we’re going. The truth is, if we find ourselves constantly trying to prove our worth to someone, then we have already forgotten our own value.
Scars are proof of life. They become part of the very fabric of who we are, telling our story and giving us a unique opportunity to share with others the strength we all possess.
Not only do scars tell a story but we can help others when they go through similar situations.
If we have scars on our heart, we can be more empathetic with others who are going through a similar journey.
If we carry scars from our memories, we can encourage those who are beginning to open up about theirs.
If our scars show a physical injury, we can offer support to someone who is waiting for healing.
While we all have scars, we may not want them to be the first thing people notice about us. We want them to see our character, our strength, and our kindness, but showing them our resilience is just as important.
But remember, when others do notice your scars, you can show them proudly for the wounds they are and your steadfastness in fighting a victorious battle.