Scars on the soul

This is the thirteenth day of the Love Blog Challenge
hosted by the lovely BelleBrita
Prompt for 2/19:
Healing

When I was too young to remember, we pitched our tent for a weekend of fun at a church campground. In one area of the camp, services were held and amateur performances given on a flat dirt stage with felled tree trunks for seating.

While displaying my youthful dexterity and bravado, I fell between the logs, where a short but mighty twig cut my face, missing my eye by just a few millimeters. My mom had to sit in the car while they stitched the wound because, in those days, no anesthetic was safe to use in that delicate area.

While the scar is not very noticeable, it reminds me of our bodies’ frailties and susceptibility to harm.

Another slight but permanent flaw on my forehead came back in the day when there were no seatbelt laws, and a short, thin “bikini” scar reminds me of the day Ana was born.

There are very few times when the body is traumatized by a cut, injury, burn, or surgery and shows no scar. A natural part of the healing process, it can be minimized with cosmetics, injections, or surgery. But a scar will never go away.

Scars are visible reminders of unforgettable experiences. A reminder of something done by accident or on purpose, to you or by you, all in fun or in a rage. There may be a great story or something you’d rather forget. But every scar is there to stay, visible and permanent.

Wounds to the heart and soul leave scars, too. The good news/bad news is that these scars are not visible to the world. They are hidden from the public and even those closest to us don’t always see or know the extent of the damage done because the result is felt only by the scar-bearer.

A significant loss because of death
or divorce
or a cross-country move.
The loss of a job,
death of a dream,
mean-spirited, harsh, or thoughtless words,
betrayal.
All are wounds to the soul that, but for a look of discouragement on your face or the failure to “be yourself,” are invisible to outsiders.

It could not have been more than a month after Bill died that a sweet woman I knew quite well with a soft and kind heart asked me, “Are you starting to heal?”

No. No, I’m not. I’m not even starting to feel, is what I wanted to say.

But I knew she didn’t know, so I nodded and smiled.

Because of my situation at that time, raising a 12-year-old and doing my best to keep our house a home, the wounds to my soul, too fresh to be healing, could not command all my energy or strength.

And, although my heart had been breaking as Bill’s body was breaking down, the final blow of death created such a tsunami in my soul that I couldn’t begin to assess the damage enough to start talking about it.

The scars of that life-changing wound to my soul, and the souls of his family, will never, ever disappear. They soften and diminish with time. But they will always be there. Always.

And, just as we handle those with crutches and bandages and stitches with great care, just as we notice the scars on the bodies of those who have been wounded in some way, we must be mindful of the hidden wounds in all of us.

You might be familiar with that unattributable quote Be kind. Everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. The sentiment might well be stated in the past tense:

Be kind. Everyone you meet has fought hard battles.

We’ve all been through stuff to get where we are. Some of our experiences are well-known. Some are hidden from even those very close to us. Some scars are on the outside, some on the inside. But each came from a hard-fought battle – and sometimes we didn’t win.

There’s the old adage Time heals all wounds. It seems a rather cheap way to avoid acknowledging the damage of a cut, bruise, or burn. Yes, we can say that, with time, a fully-formed scar will constitute healing. But for the body it graces, healed and gone are completely different.

And for those on the soul? Even when we can’t see or feel them, those wounds and scars are every bit as real as the one on my forehead or the one you got when she called you a liar or the agent never called back.

Healing, whether inside or out, doesn’t come easy. There’s a lot of care involved. And even when the wound is just a small scar or faded memory, it’s a part of you that makes you who you are today – and who you will become in the future.

Take good care of those wounds and scars, my lovelies. They are each one a part of you. A part of the whole that will never fit together like anyone else.

Image by Alicja from Pixabay

4 comments

  1. I have a scar that may have faded away because nobody has remarked on it for a long time, but I still feel there…I used one of my mother’s gym things (those they sold on TV in the 90s) and it broke, cutting my upper lip. Since it was in a position that could have been an operation for cleft lips it has made me really self-concious that no, my lips were just fine until 10-years-old-me decided she wanted a six-pack. I guess in a way it was a visible scar hiding the soul scars that go with never feeling good enough in my body, even when compared to now I had it so, so good.

    Liked by 1 person

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