Stop Judging Emotional Scars as a Weakness
When I see a person with a visible scar, I can’t help but think of a million questions and imagine a million scenarios on how they got that scar. Were they abused, was it a gang fight? A surgery? A childhood accident? Was it life threatening? Are they embarrassed by it? I don’t have a lot of visible scars, unless you count baby scars and a tiny dot in my pointer finger where I had a piece of a pencil stuck in it – an epic grade school story! I’ve been very lucky to not have a lot of visible wounds.
However, some of the scars I have carried throughout my life are invisible to others. Some have been massive, some tiny.
External scars usually initiate great curiosity from others, which usually leads to a dialogue … “How did you get that scar?” When we hear the ‘scar story’ we are usually moved by their courage. We respond with oohs and aahs and WOW’s. Someone with a 6 inch heart surgery scar, or a burn scar on their arm, are regarded as heroic, and rightfully so. They were badly hurt or broken, and they were healed, that’s amazing. Anyone with external scars are considered brave, resilient, tough, because even with this evidence that they were physically wounded by something, they continue to go on with life, and we applaud that!
The mix up we have is when it comes down to internal scarring. The truth is, we ALL judge it as weakness. Weakness in ourselves and weakness in others.The mix up we have is when it comes down to internal scarring. The truth is, we ALL judge it as weakness. Weakness in ourselves and weakness in others. Click To Tweet
The Great Heart Surgeon
I have gone through several major metaphorical heart surgeries. Something God usually warns me of ahead of time.
I once dreamt of sitting in a stadium cheering on a sports game when two paramedics came in and took me out into the hallway. “You’re in massive heart failure” the one paramedic said to me as the other was prepping my arm for an IV. “No I’m not, I’m fine! ” I responded, feeling afraid and confused. “You need to come with us now” They said firmly. They laid me down in the hallway and quickly started an IV. I woke up startled, knowing that God was preparing me for some major repair.
The other dream I had came years later, lying in a hallway of a hospital prepped for heart surgery. I knew in the dream I needed heart surgery desperately, but I was so stubborn to ‘let go’ that even the anesthetic wouldn’t knock me out! I had this dream 3 times in a course of 2 months.
Yes, both dreams led to some major emotional heart surgery.… some willingly some kicking and screaming!
6 Steps of Emotional Heart Surgery
Step 1: We usually deny we even need it…..
Step 2: We try to fix it ourselves….
Step 3: Eventually we surrender because our heart failure is affecting our quality of life….
Step 4 : The post operative recovery takes longer than we thought…
Step 5: We have an invisible giant scar…
Step 6: We are not the same as we were going in. Time for a new normal…
Stop Judging Emotional Scars as a Weakness
So why is it, that we judge one another for our heart surgery scars as weaknesses? That person who was traumatized after a major car accident is afraid to drive, “get over it already, hasn’t it been 5 years?” we think. The woman who was raped as a child struggles with eye contact. “Why are they so awkward around people?” we think. The man who lost his wife remains single the rest of his days. “Why can’t he move on?” we wonder. Because these are the scars left behind…
It is an honor to be touched by the great physician, who loves us and has a great intention for our WHOLE being and it’s health – body…MIND…and spirit!
Your scars are evidence of healing and redemption. When we allow God to walk us through emotional healing, and we fully surrender to it, your heart is going to work right again. You feel free, lighter, that ‘thing’ isn’t blocking your view every second of the day, you can move on, and you can tell others about what God has done. However, it does not mean that you won’t live with the scars of that experience. Those emotional scars, are not weakness, they are a sign of God’s healing and your resilience!
Sure you may never walk the same after a traumatic event, none of us will, even with the touch of God. While we are still in this body, in this mind, and on this earth we will suffer wounds. Great trauma and emotional wounds, leave scars, just like the body leaves scars, that’s part of the natural process of healing. But the thing with scar tissue is, it’s 10x’s stronger than the skin you were given, it’s a constant reminder of our pain and the healing of it.
Your scars may make you walk differently, approach people awkwardly, love more carefully, or stutter, or feel anxious on some days, and you know what, that’s okay, it’s not a weakness!
Being fearless is staring life right in the face and intimidating the enemy of our body, minds and spirits, with the giant scar on our heart, and a determination in our eyes to keep moving on!
I’m so proud of you and your scars!