Scars are interesting. Some see them as a reminder of survival, others see them as a reminder that that which was once perfect isn’t anymore. When I was younger, I remember having all these scars up and down my leg, most times because of a sport I was playing. To be honest, in my younger teenage years, I hated them. I would see commercials with all these women with perfect skin and part of me would be sad because I realized I might never be that person.
Scars are complicated. Anyone in the medical field or anyone who has taken an intense physiology class can tell you that the creation of a scar is way more complicated than what we see in the following weeks or months after the initial injury. It takes a specific order for a scar to develop and depending on how fast and precise each step is completed, the better the scar will be. Sometimes healing so perfectly that we can’t even see them anymore.
Scars run deep. Just because we don’t see a scar, doesn’t mean that it isn’t there or it hasn’t affected us somehow. I work at an Athletic Therapy clinic and there are two therapists there who specialize in Neurokinetic Therapy (NKT) – that’s a topic of another blog post – and they are obsessed with finding scars sometimes because it can create compensation patterns in our bodies that we don’t even realize are there. Those of you who have had decent musculoskeletal injuries must have heard the word “scar tissue” mentioned at least once or twice during your treatment and some of you might have had some work done on the scar tissue – it wasn’t always pleasant but it helped the healing.
So why am I writing about scars?
Because I feel like we ignore them or we try and downplay them when they are meant to be felt, embraced, and dealt with.
Scars are interesting – to some it is survival because it reminds them that that which was once broken can be fixed. It can adapt itself to its circumstances and build itself stronger than what it was before. It’s a metaphor for no matter what disrupts your life, you can still mend it back together. It will take time and it will hurt but you’ll see to the end of the tunnel – no matter what the problem is. To others, it’s a painful reflection of that which once was and how it won’t or might not be the same. It’s not pessimistic to see things that way. It might have a pinch of realism to it. Yes, things were perfect before the incident that caused your scar but now you’ve learned that sometimes fire might seem nice but it does burn, a knife might help cut things but that same knife could turn against you. The scar might not kick in your pride in surviving but it might train you to be more cautious, more empathetic to those who are going through the same thing, or to be more understanding of those who are on the other side of it. Scars shift our mindset whether we realize it or not.
Scars are complicated because they run deep. Nothing just happens on its on. Every incident has different stories, different points of view, different interactions, and etc. Same thing with scars. When the initial incident happens, the body is left vulnerable. It needs a second to evaluate what is going on before it reacts. Fortunately, physiologically, things happen in seconds. However, with the human mind and psyche, that might take time. There’s no prescribed time for how long it will take, all you need understand is that it’s ok to not feel ok for that thing that happened months ago or even years ago. I’m not a psychologist or do I pretend to know all about healing but if there’s one thing I’ve learnt in my short time on this planet is that sweeping things under the rug doesn’t lead you anywhere. It festers and grows and one day that rug is going to be moved unexpectedly and God help whoever has to deal with all that’s underneath. Accept the pain, its going to be ok. Understand that even after the pain is gone, you might still have some work to do, because they run deep. We aren’t always sure of the compensation patterns we build to avoid an area that’s been hurt but these develop over time. When you notice them, deal with them immediately, do some emotional scar tissue breaking. If its talking to someone, do that. If it’s meditating or praying, do that. If it’s going away on a vacation for a bit do that but break it down before it grasps you and tightens its grip around that part of you that was broken. When that happens, it hurts way more than dealing with it on the get go. Scar tissue work takes time and it feels uncomfortable – but it helps.
Scars are complicated because sometimes we can hide them and pretend they were never there. We can get so good that it that we even forget where they were. So, they come out as something else because they run deep and our unwillingness to deal with it has made it develop other compensation patterns. Healing requires time, and time is to be used wisely for it to be efficient. Don’t waste it by pushing things under the rug, for it won’t help, love.