If you are like me, you have scars. A lot of them. Physical scars, emotional scars, and spiritual scars.
And, if you are like me, you often don’t know what to do with scars. Do you hide them? Do you try to forget them? Do you show them off and brag about them?
They are tricky things.
But don’t let them go to waste! I am finding that scars can be extremely useful.
Here are five ways you can use your scars for good:
1. Tell meaningful stories. About how you got your scars. About how your wounds healed. About how you are different than you used to be. If you ask me, our society is plagued by meaningless stories. Scars are intimate, and intimate things are never meaningless. Telling meaningful stories encourages the living of meaningful stories.
2. Encourage someone. A lot of us are walking around wounded and carrying baggage. Maybe you have experienced something your friend is going through. Maybe you have felt what someone thinks no one else has ever felt. Bare you scars, and tell someone you understand. Show someone that wounds heal, and things get better. People are yearning for your encouragement, and want to see the proof your scars can give.
3. Become vulnerable. Generally, we like to put forth a shining face. Where I am from, we call this being fake. When we are fake, we protect ourselves from having real relationships. Let people see your scars, and you start breaking down the fake shiny walls. You start opening yourself up to being loved, and valued, and cared for.
4. Prevent someone from being wounded. If your scars came from a mistake you made, you can help someone not make that same mistake. Use your scars as a warning to not take relationships lightly, to not stay silent about injustice, to not drive drunk. You are not the only person that can learn from your mistakes.
5. Give yourself hope. Chances are high that you still have wounds that have not healed, and that you will probably be wounded again at some point in your life. Don’t forget about your scars. Remind yourself that even the most bitter and painful of cuts will grow new skin. Remind yourself that healing exists. Use your scars to give yourself hope that someday there will be no pain, someday there will be no sadness, someday everything will be redeemed and reborn and made perfect.
There are more ways you can use your scars for good, but here are five good places to start. Don’t hide yourself out of a desire to be safe. Let yourself be known deeply, and loved deeper.
Question: Do you actively use your scars for good? If yes, how? If no, why not?