by Teresia Smith
Life often brings us many physical scars from injuries, surgeries, or accidents. Sometimes they are even self-inflicted. There are also inner scars that come from emotional wounds. It could be from what somebody said, from a relationship breakup, from a failure, from the loss of a loved one, or any number of other things. We usually try to minimize or hide our scars, thinking they are not attractive. Plus, they remind us of the hurt. But you need to see your scars in a new light. Scars can remind you of what you have survived. Our scars show the battlefield we were on and the war we overcame. Don’t think only of the pain that caused the scar, but remind yourself of the strength it took to overcome. The scar means the wound has healed, the pain is less, and you’re moving forward.
I know there might be days when you look at your scars and feel embarrassed. You might even live daily with emotional pain because of invisible scars caused by things like fear and bad memories. Those can take just as much time and care to heal as the physical ones. However, you can find peace with your scars, because those scars tell your story. There’s a quote I love that says, “From every wound there is a scar, and every scar tells a story. A story that says, ‘I have survived!’” No one gets through life without battle scars. We all get wounded. Your scar is proof that you are healing. Your scar reminds you that you came through something difficult but you are alive. Sure, you have a scar, but you’re strong, you’ve survived and you have a purpose to fulfill. That is always worth remembering!
Your life’s journey, including the hardships and pain, has shaped who you are. That journey included the suffering that led to each of your scars and the scars are part of your identity. Don’t live in the past, but don’t forget that you prevailed. Embrace those scars and be proud that you are an overcomer.
If you are a survivor of sexual assault or intimate partner violence, the scars can be physical and emotional. Crisis Services of North Alabama offers free and confidential services to help you heal and overcome. We offer free crisis counseling, court advocacy, access to shelter, support groups and more. Contact our Jackson County office at 256.574.5826. We also offer a 24/7 HELPline where you can talk to a trained crisis counselor day or night at 256.716.1000. Reach out.