Written by contributor writer Meghan Ervine
Scars… we all have them. Some are on your body and clearly visible, and some are invisible, just blistering on the inside. Yes… we all have them. But whether your scars are something you can clearly see or something much deeper down inside, our scars are painful. And some prefer to use the most effective scar creams to get rid of them but they are reminders of the past. Maybe for some of us they are memories filled with shame, regret, hurt and pain. I like to forget about my scars, both the clearly visible and the invisible. It’s easy to pretend I don’t have them because honestly, ignorance is bliss. I am excited about all the new cosmetic scar treatments that are becoming available at the moment, because perhaps one of them (probably medical laser repair by the sounds of it) could finally be the answer to obliterating it forever. I manage to forget about it for the majority of the time but there seems to be some reminder round every corner.
But the other day my scar was so vivdly pointed out to me. I must preface that I work in child care at the YMCA in a classroom full of adorable and innocent 2-year-olds who sometimes like to tell it like it is. But hey, they come by these things honestly. One day a sweet little boy blatantly and boldly points up at my face and asks “What’s that?” Now mind you I have had a battle with acne for years and have plenty of scars on my face and in fact all over my body, to prove it. Including a more noticeable one on my right cheek, right next to my nose. So it’s very visible to me and it’s something I am easily embarrassed about. So when this tiny, innocent 2-year-old boy, overtly points out a flaw I am already too aware of, you can imagine my mix of shock, fluster, and if I am being honest, hurt. But much to my surprise this moment, that this boy will probably never remember, has taught me some things I will never forget.
Perfection isn’t everything.
I used to be so ashamed of the physical scars on my body. I would get frustrated to the point of tears. They represented my imperfections and how my body and skin wasn’t as smooth and beautiful as I would like it to be. But I’ve come to learn and truly believe that real beauty is having the ability to be comfortable with who you are on the inside and out. It’s to feel strong and empowered that you are unique, and there is no one like you, even if you’re not the world’s definition of “perfect.” But see that’s the thing. Who wants to be perfect anyways? Your scars show that you’re a REAL person with real life experiences, because you are alive and living! Now that is something that is truly beautiful. You’re a real human who makes mistakes, has some flaws, but is unique! You’re a true work of art and there is no one else like you!
Scars don’t define you.
You see we have the decision to view our scars in a new way. In a way that gives us freedom and assurance that these scars don’t define us and we can still love ourselves even when these unwanted marks on our bodies tell us otherwise. What defines you is how you handle having scars and how you carry yourself. Have confidence that you know who you truly are and that you don’t have to explain yourself to people because at the end of the day what matters most is how you view and love yourself. You are more than the choices and mistakes that you have made. You are more than the hurt that has been done to you. You are so much more and you are so loved. Your heart and the way you live out your life defines you, not your scars.
You’re not alone.
I wish women who are struggling with scars (inside and out) knew that they are NOT the only ones who are going through something and they are NOT alone in dealing with various pains and burdens from the past. I think we all need to understand that there are more women who have scars then we realize. If we were all open with the hard things we have and are going through, we could join together in support and encouragement with one another. We could build up a community of women who are passionate about celebrating the real beauty in one another, flaws and all.
A lesson to never forget.
I want to thank that little boy who forever impacted me on just another ordinary day. I must admit at first, I felt overwhelmingly insecure (yes even by a 2-year-old), but through that interaction, I confronted some tough things about myself. Things I honestly didn’t feel comfortable confronting before. I had to come face to face with myself. I had to challenge myself on what I believe to be true about my beauty. It’s a really hard process for most women, I totally understand that. But we have to know that we can’t let our scars or how others view our scars define us. That’s a recipe for feeling trapped, insecure and unhappy. I encourage women everywhere to live boldly in knowing they can’t be put in a box and that they are MORE than what the worlds version of “beauty” is. I truly hope you find freedom in that because you are worth loving and you are always, always enough. Never forget it.