I had lunch with a new acquaintance and we got talking about ourselves. ‘I still struggle with my body image and my tendency to be a hermit,’ I said.
‘Do you expect to ever be cured?’ she asked.
The truthful answer was no — no I don’t ever really expect to be totally fine with my body or to morph into a social butterfly who fearlessly seeks out new relationships all the time. I’m fundamentally shy, and culturally conditioned to believe that I should be a different shape and size than my body wants to be.
So where does that leave me — constantly frustrated that I can’t seem to get better, crying ‘poor me’ and giving up, or frantically looking for the latest new-age medicine that will heal my wounds?
Wounds and scars. The long snaked ripple of pink flesh where my brother had a shoulder operation, the zippered line of a Cesarean section where my friend gave birth, the white spot on my knee where I fell off my bike — these wounds have healed into scars that will never fade. We wear our scars as badges of courage, as reminders of our suffering, as proof of our resilience.
But they won’t ever go away.
Here are my wounds. Here are my scars. Body shame, shyness, anxiety, guilt, fear, hopelessness.
Will they ever be fixed? I don’t think so. Is darkness such a bad thing?
So I unveil them here as my badges of courage, my reminders that I’ve suffered, the proof that I’m resilient.
I choose the path of acceptance rather than resistance.
Whenever tragic loss occurs, you either resist or you yield. Some people become bitter or deeply resentful; others become compassionate, wise, and loving.
Yielding means inner acceptance of what is. You are open to life. Resistance is an inner contraction, a hardening of the shell of the ego. You are closed. If the shutters are closed, the sunlight cannot come in. You rest in the peace and inner stillness that come with surrender. You rest in God.
(Tolle, A New Earth, 57-58)
What are your wounds? Do you expect them to ever heal?
11 thoughts on “Wounds and Scars • Yielding to the Darkness”
I often wonder when I’m just going to get over my body image issues already. I’m almost 40 and I feel like… isn’t it about time? I don’t have the mental energy to waste on it anymore, and yet I still do. It’s a troublesome conundrum.
I am SO WITH YOU. Just a few years behind.
It’s a bit shit, isn’t it?
I have wounds that will never heal but I think I have done a pretty good job of moving on. Once in a great while I will collapse within myself to Lick my wounds and then I crawl back out of my cave and go on. I’ve lost a lot of people who I loved deeply all for different reasons. I almost lost my daughter because I failed to open my eyes and see things for what they really were. I also blame myself for not being there when she needed me the most. Now I feel the need to be there for everyone even though I know in my head that it’s a goal I can never meet.
That’s the secret, I think – moving on. If you can still keep going with a smile on your face some of the time, you’re doing something right. I read a post once about trying to be everyone’s lifeboat – and it’s both impossible and exhausting. As my friend Carla says … do what you can when you can … that’s my new mantra.
Chronic and absolutely proliferative sense of worthlessness.
Old and now-silvered scars on my arms.
A sense of shame for just being me, and for being so caught up on that.
Just never being enough – for me, or anyone, really.
Thanks for your honesty, Katie. It helps.
Thank you for your honesty. It’s nice to know I’m not alone in my struggles x
Looking UP ^^ I see that Lizi & I share a list. I think we need an intervention.
Do I think they will ever heal? No. I am working on it but I have spent the first two thirds of my life like this and I doubt that there is enough time to left to fix this mess.
An intervention is a great idea. I think it should involve chocolate, booze and male strippers. I’ll get on to that 😉
I have tons of scars and most are healed. It took a long, long time. I say most because I am still a work in progress and probably always will be. It’s the human condition. I hold resentments which really only hurt me. I have anxiety and I get depressed. I have moments when I don’t like what I see in the mirror. For me it all comes down to acceptance. Absolutely.
Yes to the human condition and yes to acceptance. Abso-f*ing-lutely!
Comments are closed.