So here I am, looking at the screen. I have no paper and pen which I prefer but I have a small corner of time free from the clutter of the day.
I am still thinking about respect. Taking time to offer respect for yourself first. Respecting yourself enough to interact with the world from a place of wholeness and confidence, offering your strengths to the world while giving yourself the gift of seeing and addressing your own weakness.
It is difficult for me to pay attention to the emotions rumbling in my gut, whether they are positive or negative or somewhere in the spectrum between. I have a narrative whispering in my thoughts, the words I think to myself, that I am barely aware of. Like the fleeting awareness of a quickly fading dream during the first moments of awakening.
Yes. Awakening. The ability to be awake, awake to myself, awake to others, awake to my environment and the awareness of my sleepy state. Once you are awake you can’t pretend to be asleep.
Ignorance is a form of sleep. Everything external closed off and an internal world awakens. Dreams are the place where a fleeting freedom of reality, gravity, rules, and shoulds are momentarily ignored. We can jump from the top of a waterfall and glide to the foamy river below without pain. We are rooted to the ground by a gravity so heavy our feet cannot be lifted. We can be the superheroes we long to be and we can face the villains we long to vanquish in our dreams. We can even separate from our bodies and watch our bodies do amazing things, fully ourselves, fully powerful, fully aware. Then we wake up and our imagination settles itself down through the cracks in our foundation, grounding us to our reality.
Could our lives be things of beauty, art? Not simply cracked, minimally useful, barely surviving. What if our foundation was fashioned in a way to include our dreams, like the cracked pottery repaired with gold, now not only useful but a thing of art and beauty? What if the dream is actually a life worth living?
I have no tattoo, no piercings other than the common earlobe style, but I do have one area evidencing the inflexible failure of my body to open wide enough for new life to emerge. No, I could’t release naturally. My stubborn body needed skilled help and sharp tools to release the things deep inside. I could not control that which I could not control. I see it now as a gift, to be unable to control.
My cesarean scar goes deep, through multiple layers of tissue, visible on my skin yet invisibly layered down to my uterine core. As I healed the scar tissue grew thick and tight and within a year started causing pain because it constricted areas other than the wound.
Oh, my controlling self, you can’t let go, can you? Holding on tight where you should let go.
I began physical therapy to stretch out the layers of scarring and as my body slowly, painfully learned to release I slowly, painfully, sifted through my “failure” to give birth and began to release control over results of an uncontrollable situation.
Enter self-control. I can’t control some situations but I can control my response. I have a choice. What does this look like for me? I used to see my scar as evidence of my physical inability to do something the female form is uniquely purposed to do. I would avoid looking at the scar, averting my eyes if I happened to glance at the mirror, because I felt inferior, frustrated, powerless, weak, and even like my own body cheated me.
Can I re-write the story I am telling myself about myself? Change starts with my thoughts. Paying attention to those fleeting thoughts that reveal my emotions and inspecting them curiously without judgment. How can I describe what I am feeling? What does this feeling reveal about the state of my heart right now? How can I look at this situation differently so I can let go of what is hurting me and reach for what is healthy for me?
As I began to look at the story I was believing I was able to acknowledge the state of my heart and re-write my story. This scar means life and motherhood- two live humans were born through this place. This scar is proof of medical miracles- visible evidence of a surgical procedure that saved my children’s lives and possibly even my own. This scar means strength- I recovered from two major abdominal surgeries while learning how to keep at first one and then two children alive at the same time. This scar means compassion- I can relate to others in a way I wouldn’t have otherwise. This scar means beauty- unintentional art carved into my skin and story. This scar means an easy explanation of where babies come from! At least while my kids are young- I will explain more later.. hey, I will take whatever positive I can!
My scar is now one of my favorite parts of my body. I am so grateful for it and although it wasn’t my preference I am so thankful for the beautiful reminder of what I have learned and who I have become because of it. It is my art.
What scars, physical, emotional, spiritual, etc) do you have that you can’t stand? Want to wake up with me from the false dream that your life would be better off without the scars in the first place? Today I challenge you to start. Start bravely staring that scar in the face, examine it, and find a way to re-write your story.
Let’s lets go of the stories that say when we are broken we are worthless and let’s write our whole healthy stories together.
“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose” -Jim Elliot