One afternoon I was walking with a friend along one of Havana's streets, in the heart of Vedado, when a young man shouted loudly at me. – “Did someone cut your back with a machete?” He then laughed.
For a moment I remained speechless. I found his attitude absolutely rude. Actually, cruel!
I was only 19 years old. It was a hot day, therefore I was wearing, proudly, a light top that left my back uncovered. Few months prior to this event, I had a heart surgery; the long scar on my back was the evidence.. I was still processing the hard time I had gone through, both psychologically and physically.
Before I even decided to respond to the immature man, I had a flashback right there and then, that put me in the place I needed to be, the place I had given myself permission to be the moment I had decided to wear that top proudly.
Here is what came to my mind in that very moment that made me, until today, love my scar:
I remembered that the chances I had to live before that surgery was 50/50 and thanks to that scar I was alive.
I understood how much my family loved me and who were my real friends. The bond between my mother and I became stronger. We had the opportunity to forgive ourselves some mistakes we both made.
I received so much love in that moment that the scar became irrelevant.
I respected myself for being brave enough to go to that hospital and to fight for my life. I could have just given up but I decided that I wanted to live, knowing that the price was going to be that scar.
With my scar, I have a story to tell. Not a simple one, but a story of friendship, tolerance, coexistence, and a happy ending, as I had to live in the hospital with other people who were going through the same situation. I made great friends, we supported each other, we laughed all the time. My memories about the month I lived in the hospital are mostly of joy. This is why when I look at my scar I remember only those weirdly funny moments.
With time my scar became less and less visible but I can still see it when I look at myself in the mirror. I smile, I touch it, I love it. It's mine, it's my life story. It's a gift from God. I became more grateful with life after the surgery. I take better care of my life and others. I am aware of the time and purpose and the importance of doing good and doing what we love. All thanks to my scar. By the way, I never responded to the young man who bullied me. I had enough reasons to ignore him.
You may have a different kind of scar: the beautiful scar after having a baby with caesarean; who wouldn't love the scar that reminds you of the birth of your son? Or the scar after thriven with cancer. The sometimes painful scar that remains after attempting against your own life. In some cases as a consequence of someone else act.
Any scar you may have, is there as part of your story. If you pay close attention to the events, you will always find that because of this scar, great things took place in your life or in the lives of your loved ones.
Don't be afraid to be who you are. Your scar is a paragraph in your book and it must be a sort of inspiration.
Even the scars we carry sometimes in our soul are as valuable as the physical, they make us grow stronger.
Are you ashamed of your scars? If so, try to find at least one reason to love them, let me know in a comment below which reason you found and why do you feel proud of your scar.
I would love to hear your story, to be inspired by you.
Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars. -Khalil Gibran
Tons of love,