Have you ever compared scars with a friend? We all have at least one scar. Sometimes it’s that little tiny one on your finger from the first time you used a knife, others it’s much larger. I was thinking about a friend of mine that has a scar just like I do that goes right down through my belly. We have them for different reasons but we both have one. We treated them differently too. It was years before I would wear a two piece bathing suit because of it but she never gave it a thought.

Another person I know has a lot of scars. We compared and counted one day. I have more but hers are bigger. She got the prize for most impressive, I won for quantity. Those scars, the physical proof of burns, car accidents, surgeries and broken windows are there for us to see, eventually they stop being reminders and become a part of the body and we forget the pain of the moment.

A tattoo is a self inflicted scar. A statement of who we want the world to perceive us as. It’s just as damaging and permanent to the skin we live in as the accidental ones we have. All of them shaping or telling who we are.

What about the inside scars? The things no one can see. We have those too. Painful memories, loss, shame and even the joyous events in our lives. Did you ever think of something shameful you have done in  the past and cringe? That response is a physical reminder of an invisible scar. What about something that happened that scared you? That thing that will still make you shudder or stop what you’re doing. No one can see it, it lives in your head but it still controls your actions. Things that can make you cry at night or different types of people that make you pause. Aren’t those responses from inside scars?

Today in my Facebook memories I had a message from someone we lost to the disease of addiction. I get one every week or so from her. She was much younger than me, yet we connected. We used to go to movies. We’d sometimes pull out lawn chairs and just sit and talk, in parking lots or parks, wherever we happened to be. We had special names for each other. She had grown up in a place that I later in life spent time so we could reminisce about our individual time there knowing the places we talked about. That type of scar is both joyous and sad. There are many memories of life being good and times when she struggled. I smiled and got a little teary too. Physical responses to invisible scars.

I have scars literally from my head (car accident when I went through the windshield of a van) to my feet (hot water burns). I have shame, pain, joy and contentment. I have tattoos and memories. All from a very full life.

I feel like life is made for sharing. I’ll show you mine if you show me yours.


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