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5 Ways to Love and See the Beauty in Scars

Updated on February 14, 2016
Nalini Marquez profile image

Nalini is on the journey to a healthier and happier life, and writes articles with elements of the mind-body-heart-spirit connection.

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By itself a scar is beautiful. The different colors; the textures; the way in which it comes together. A testament to survival and resilience. A star in the night sky; A plant that grows after devastation.

It is only when in relation to the rest and whole that a scar is ugly and undesirable. The testament to survival and resilience becomes a marker of damage and brokenness. The star fades in the night sky. The plant shrinks as the devastation becomes salient. And we cease to see the beauty in such a piece of ourselves and others.

All of us struggle with scars. Some of us are fortunate in not having our scars visible, but some of us carry scars in uncomfortably discernible places. We turn away from scars and those that carry them, not realizing how such a behavior would hurt us if it were done to us and how much it hurts others as we do it to them. But turn away and cause pain we do.

There is a certain beauty to scars despite how undesirable they may be. There is something universally poignant and powerful to surviving when you could have died, growing when you could have stayed in ruins, and finding light when you could have remained in darkness.

As you go through life and you encounter your scars and the scars of others, the mental, physical, emotional, and/or spiritual scars, remember your and their humanity and that that scar universally entails. And go forward in love. Because while scars may be beautiful by themselves, they are in the whole a reminder of the ugliness that exists in the world and the love that is required to answer it. Scars often involve unspeakable pain and repeated obstacles. They often mask the two steps forward and show the one step back. Like dying in childbirth in order to give life, so do scars remind us of things that must die and be undergone in order to bring life and remind us of the beauty that can come out of tragedy. They remind us of the sacrifice involved in getting to live and survive, and in some ways, what it means and what it takes to be alive.

5 Ways to Love and See the Beauty in Scars

This list applies to all types of scars and includes mental, emotional, physical, and/or spiritual scars.

  1. Respond with love and empathy.
  2. Remember that it takes courage to show or bare a scar.
  3. Remember that there is no one more aware of the scar, than the scar-holder so you reacting to it in a negative way or making the person feel bad about it, is not responding in love.
  4. Think of how you want people to respond to your scars and assuming it’s an appropriate, compassionate, and humane way to respond, respond to the scars of others and to your own scars in this manner.
  5. Remember that scars are all about moving forward. That’s why a scar was left in the place of the wound or why it was left in the place of whatever was there; so that you or the person could move forward. So remember this beautiful function of scars and be a positive part of the moving forward!

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