Do you hide your scars?

demi-scarsWe all have scars. Some are literal, physical scars and some are not visible, but are still very real. During breast cancer awareness month, I have seen pictures of women with huge scars across their chest from radical mastectomies without reconstruction. They are proud to show their scars because they know the scar isn’t a sign weakness, intimidation or defeat-they are proof of life.

I have roughly a 6-inch scar down my back from a spinal fusion in 2008. Honestly, I’m glad it’s on my back so unless I intentionally look at it, it’s not something I have to see every day. I can’t imagine having a constant reminder of a time that was difficult and painful physically, emotionally and mentally. However, I know for sure that scar allows me to walk and live without tremendous pain and dramatically improves my quality of life on a daily basis.

This made me think, most of us tend to hide our scars. We don’t dare share our perceived weaknesses-instead we hide them, brush them under a rug never to be discussed or seen again. I personally think this is because scars, battle wounds, any evidence that we aren’t invincible is a reminder that at some point we were vulnerable. Vulnerable to a disease, to an accident or in the case of invisible scars we were perhaps even vulnerable to a person that hurt us. The fact is, wonderful things can happen once you allow yourself to be vulnerable and you can’t truly appreciate all someone has to offer your life until you open up enough for them to know and love you.

sinatra-scarsToday I will choose to be thankful for my scar and all it represents. I will also be thankful for the scars that aren’t visible-they teach me who I can and can’t trust, who loves me unconditionally and allow me to be a stronger person.

Will you choose to hide your scars or show them and be thankful for them? In the end, aren’t they all really proof of life?

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