Thursday, April 05, 2012

Scars

Today while out early in the garden, I cut my finger quite dramatically. It wasn't deep, but was a large cut with lots of blood initially. It did not hurt a bit so I stubbornly finished what I was doing, letting it bleed freely for a couple of minutes, then went inside to wash up and assess the damage.
I cleaned my hands thoroughly, let it bleed a little bit more to try and get any grit or dirt out, then put some pressure on it. I've seen this before, of course, many times, but it struck me anew how unutterably cool it is to watch one's body begin to heal. After a few minutes of pressure, the bleeding stopped entirely, and my skin was already sticking together so perfectly that I could hardly make out the faint tracery of the cut. There's one advantage to keeping your gardening tools sharp, I suppose.

It will most likely leave a faint scar, because I tend to scar easily. I thought about that as well. I don't seem to mind the scars on my body. They tell stories for me.  I have quite a few due to surgeries and just using my body a lot. I've cut myself innumerable times, fallen while simply walking down the street, had caesarian sections, burned myself while cooking, poked myself with knitting needles, gotten my leg caught in bicycle chains, etc.. Some of the scars are identifiable and I can remember what happened. The ones that proclaim the births of my children are actually precious. Some scars have left only the mark on my skin and I have no memory of the incident in my mind.

I was talking with a friend last night about a lot of important and tender things, and I am thinking today about the scars on the soul and how they heal. I think slight remnants of past pain always remain, even on the eternal parts of ourselves, even after forgiveness. We cannot be unchanged by what we experience, no matter what. That is simply not the way of this existence. In fact, we must allow ourselves to be changed by the things that cause pain-the trials, the mistakes, the ill-use, the opportunities missed, the times of confusion and sadness, etc.. That's sort of the whole point of being here. A scar, we must remind ourselves, is evidence of two things:

The wound has healed and the worst pain is in the past.

So, scars are not the problem. They proclaim the great healing power of the universe. Regeneration. Repair. Renewal.  The problem is when we worry them and try to open them again, thinking that maybe we can undo the hurt or this time, or perhaps it will heal more smoothly and with less evidence. Not so. Let the scars be. Listen to their stories but let them be. If we let them remind us we've healed and become different, they give us power and peace. If we see our scars only as a bitter reminder that we were hurt in the first place, we ignore the steps we've taken from that place to this.

Bleeding Hearts at 7:30 am


4 comments:

  1. This should be required reading for most of us. A beautiful journey.

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  2. beautifully said, my friend :)

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  3. when and how did you become so wise? i miss being around all of that beautiful wisdom and thoughtfulness!

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  4. we are on the same page at the same time again...ukulele's, thinking about scars (epecially the c-section kind lately), i also have bleeding hearts in my garden...they are planted next to a columbine (yes, they were planted together after that awful event)...the list goes on and on...kindred spirits. i miss seeing you at least once in a blue moon...enjoy your spring. love sandi

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Thank you for sharing your insights!