It seems that throughout my life, there is one thing that is rather persistent: scars. My life is loaded with them. The ones that are on my body, I seem to celebrate and admire almost as if they were war wounds. I almost treat them as if I had walked out of a major battle loaded with these scars. Then there are many of the emotional scars that I, for some reason or another, seem to cover up and no talk about them in hopes that they will go away. The worst part of that is I don’t know why I do this.
I learned something about scar tissue that I find interesting. Scar tissue is formed by the body in order to seal, protect and repair a wounded area, and is far stronger than the tissue that it is holding together. If anything, it is quite the repair mechanism. One can say that scars make us stronger. We might walk away wounded from a situation, but we come back to it far stronger because of the scar. It’s almost as if it should be a medal of honour for having endured that battle.
I often look at the scar on my knee, thinking how I endured a 10-week long healing process beginning March 4th, 2015. It wasn’t easy, since a good part of the healing meant that I had spent almost all of that time with my leg in a splint, and not able to walk on it. The other part was regaining my range of motion through various floor exercises. It was a signal of a lifestyle change. Almost six months later, I have used that experience to rebuild my strength in my legs and take the rest of my body along for the ride. I walk better than I have in the past 10 years and I’m conquering other areas such as my physical fitness issues. That scar serves as a reminder of not only where I was, but where I am now and what I had to go through to get here.
If their function is such a grand function in the scheme of things, why do we go through huge efforts to cover them up, or remove them, and pretend like it never happened? It is almost as if marketing has been brainwashing us into seeing scars as nothing but ugly marks on our person. We then managed to take it even further with phrases such as “scarred for life”, or “emotionally scarred”. They use it in the sense as if someone has been permanently damaged. Yes, I get that there are many events in our lives that can leave us emotionally damaged. I have had my share, starting with seeing my father dying at the age of seven. It still gets me emotional. Am I emotionally scarred? Yes, in some parts. However, to me, these scars mean that some of the damage has healed and I can look at those emotional scars knowing that I have gone through a healing process. I can look at those emotional scars knowing that I have lived through various ordeals, and in many cases, loved. A lot of the emotional scars that I bear have taught me not only am I capable of love, but also tell me that I know what love is. The scars I bear from love in many ways have made love grow stronger.
Will I have more scars? I’m sure I will. They won’t be pleasant, and some will be from downright painful moments in my life. But, at least I will be able to look at the scars as healing. I will be able to look at them and remind myself of where I am now because of them. I will be stronger, in some way, because of those scars.