I've battled. I've been bruised and defeated and scarred. I've beat a few dead horses, I've lived with a heart that felt like it was shattered into a million pieces and I have scars. Inside and out. Divorce, breast cancer and dating made their mark. Surviving it all and thriving is an art all its own. Living to tell about it - that's a gift.
I broke - my life, my heart, my world - all broken. More than once. I lived a life out of control, consumed with ire and despair. Unsure how to be me again or who that really was. I've had a broken heart or two. A heart that aches so badly you don't know if you'll ever be able to breathe again, a heart that is so totally ripped to pieces that you can't even imagine ever being whole again. I've lived in a world that was spinning and spinning, keeping me standing only with momentum - sometimes aimlessly without direction. But I kept going, amassing a few bruises along the way. Do they ever truly heal?
I must admit, a lot of it came at my own hand because I don't always know when to walk away. I don't want regrets. I want to be sure I did all I could at any cost so I have no "what ifs". I have been my own worst enemy. And I am scarred. I know how they feel and I know how they look. They are roadmaps to my past, constant reminders of the fights, but are they more than that? Are they my wall - "I dare you to love me this way". Are they my vulnerability - "Can you possibly love me this way?" Are they my test - "Can I love me this way?" What do the scars mean?
I don't know if I'm using the scars as an excuse to not fully live and love my life. Self-esteem suffers through these experiences. There's still some inner evaluation I need to do to figure this out. I have answered the last question though. I can love me. I'm doing it. I've thrown away the scar creams that promise to lighten and dim the signs of scars. I'm tired of fighting them, of trying to live like they don't exist. They do. I exist because of them. I exist because an amazing doctor in New Orleans scarred me for life and he made me unbroken. Made me love a mirror again. Made me put things in perspective and focus on the gift of being alive.
I'm focusing on perspective, yours and mine. You who have been broken and thought you're the only one. You're not. You who have been beaten and think how can I have been so stupid. I'm right there with you - but we're not stupid. We're hopeful. We believe. You who are scarred and don't know how to feel or what to think or how to explain it all. You're not alone. For me, I feel grateful, I think I'm lucky and I still don't know how or if to explain it all. Somehow it all seems to work itself out.
Battles, scars and perspective - strange bedfellows? Perhaps not. Perhaps we need them all to come to a greater understanding of our life. No one comes out of a struggle unscathed. There are lessons here.
Fight the wars worth fighting, wear the scars knowing they tell your amazing story, hold your head up high - you came through and you're better than ever. Keeping things in perspective will make sense of all the unanswered questions - do you really have to know everything anyway? Sometimes it's enough to know that you did the best you could with what you had, you'd do it again if you had to (with a few minor adjustments) and you're truly proud of that person staring back at you in the mirror. And that you have no regrets.