There are things that will happen in this lifetime that are devastating. Some things you’ll see coming, others will blindside you and you won’t believe it. When something bad happens in our lives, we take preventative measures so that it doesn’t happen again. We favor an arm, we close off a part of ourselves we once left vulnerable, we instate new rules or we find a new normal. Not all of these choices are voluntary. Our mind makes decisions in an effort to protect itself even when we are unable to do it ourselves. The point being that we make changes in order to move forward. Of course there will be mistakes, accidents and unexpected trauma. Naturally, we adjust so that we don’t have to endure that experience again. It’s called preservation and it’s the only way we all survive.
I’m going to ask you to take it way back. Even further than that. On the day you were born, you entered this world with a clean slate. Scratch free with endless possibilities at your fingertips. The days when being naïve was not only okay but warranted and beautiful and why adults are so in awe of children. We grow up and all of the experiences, relationships, encounters and situations we face quite literally mold us into who we are today. We have the scars to prove it. Some are seen, some are hidden in our hearts, some are discrete, some took years to heal, some are still healing and others we can’t even seem to recall how we got. Our skin becomes an actual canvas, dare I say masterpiece, of our journey.
Scars remind of us of where we’ve been. My nickname was boo-boo growing up. I was definitely more of a Laura Croft than an Elle Woods. I spent a lot of time in the hospital. Dainty I was not. Band-aids were my prized accessories and bruises were my go-to shade. I’ve always been a bit of a wild child. My skin looks like a Candyland board game made of scars. I have them from ovens, dogs, toilets, trees-some even inflicted by my own kin **cough** brothers **cough**.
My scars tell the story of who I am. There are a thousand choices I could have made and a million directions I could have gone, but here I am. There are streets I don’t walk anymore, numbers I don’t call, situations I won’t touch and people that have faded into strangers. We all are where we are in this moment because of the choices we have made. If at any point you feel like you’re not where you’re supposed to be, you have the power to fix it. Don’t let circumstances dictate your life. There will be new ones tomorrow. And we are all too familiar with the three-eyed monster could’ve, should’ve and would’ve. Put her to rest because you DIDN’T. And don’t beat yourself up because you still CAN.
We grow up. We adapt. We take in what we’ve learned and move forward with that knowledge. Hindsight is 20/20. When we make the same mistake over and over, we are either in denial of reality or too proud to admit when we are wrong. We must learn from our mistakes. When a weakness is discovered, you strengthen that aspect until it is invincible. Pretending it’s not there or continuing on as if it never happened leaves one vulnerable and weaker. In a world where absolutely nothing is for certain, we must do our part in protecting the things we love, including each other. It’s the only way we all make it out of this thing alive.
If you’re reading this, you’re a survivor. You made it. You carried on. You might be changed. You might carry yourself a bit differently than before or you might not ever be the same, but you are here. Not everyone is so lucky. That being said, there are times we learn from one another’s misfortune. It also might be mentioned that many of us are unable to see the big picture because it hasn’t quite hit home hard enough yet. You can stand there with crossed arms and settled minds unwavering but I promise you that change is inevitable. As the world keeps spinning, we must evolve. Our scars should be displays of where we’ve been, not where we are. Scars should be symbols of what we have overcome, what we’ve endured and what we won’t fall for again.
In case anyone was reading this and wondering if it was an analogy for a bigger problem…It sure is.