Tell me where I am wrong, but I’m willing to bet that if you point to a scar on your body...there is a story there. No matter how epic or benign, there is a story . . . some adventures chosen and some navigated unwillingly.
I recently became the host of a new scar that is smack dab in the middle of my forehead. It is red and fierce and growing thick and resilient. As far as scars go...it’s doing its job. As with all of my scars, I’ve enjoyed creating fictional stories about how I got them. This forehead tattoo was the place where my unicorn horn was removed (too much magic) and my arm is lucky that it survived that shark bite. It brings some humor to situations that can potentially leave me feeling vulnerable or insecure.
But really, when I think about the actual stories of these scars...they tell the tale of adventures and second chances, endings and new beginnings. Tattoos that remind me how precious my life has been, and how those stories can propel me into the future.
My facial scars and the scar on my arm were caused by skin cancer, surgically removed. These scars represent the photo albums of childhood summers at the pool, swimming in the ocean, solo travel to Australia, sea kayaking in Baja, skiing at high altitude, desert river trips, and hours on the farm planting, harvesting, and weeding. These scars also remind me to maintain and repair. Not to avoid conflict. Not to give into fear. Not to let things build up and hope they will go away. To deal with things as they come up. To lean in.
My other scars represent motherhood, my love of horses and adventures in the outdoors, and the limits presented while taking risks. I also have a scar on my foot that reminds me to be mindful when lighting sparklers on the fourth of July.
I could go on about these stories and the stories of loved ones whose scars represent such incredible strength and resilience….and would love to hear yours, perhaps over a cup of tea or circled up around a campfire.
All to say….sometimes we truly grow stronger in the broken places.