Look at your hands. Check your palms, your arms, and you’ll eventually find a scar from an old injury. I have one on my index finger on my right hand. I stuck my finger in a bicycle gear when I was a kid. Point is, we all have a scar somewhere on our body. We all have scars, constant reminders of what we’ve done, and what that has left on our bodies. But there is a different kind of scar that hurts far worse than any physical damage. Look at your heart, think back, and I’m sure you’ll realize something has wounded it, and it’s taken time to heal. That subject, whatever it is, is probably still tender, no matter how long ago it was.
Scars are natural, and a powerful reminder of what you’ve come from. The scars that reside on your heart are even more so. While the scars on your body tell you what you can survive, a long gash tracing up your forearm, a twisting jagged scar across your chest, the scars on the heart can tell you what you can withstand. The body will heal, but the heart is a fragile. Some try to defend it, but once those are avoided, all it takes is a handful of words to shatter it. The body is different, capable of withstanding great pain and force, healing steadily, and leaving a scar to remind you.
So why do they matter? Why would the body not heal whole? Why wouldn’t it cast that wound with smooth skin and muscle, hiding it and letting you forget it completely? It is for the same reason that the heart and the mind refuse to do the same. Scars are lessons, memorable life lessons, that you will personally recall, and remember every time you wake up, and your fingers ghost against the scar. You may forget it for a time, but either your eyes will pick it up again, or you’ll fingers will remind you.
For me, the lesson is that curiosity has a price. There is a limit to what can be done, what can be prodded and explored. It is not a threat, it is a careful warning. Explore the world, see what you find, but always remember that if you’re not prepared, then you will find pain in your recklessness. And I remember that, every day that I wake up, every time I pick up a pencil, or even glance at my hand. Yet that scar is so tiny, that not even my classmates have noticed it.
Scars of the heart have a deeper meaning, and they are truly personal. They are shared only to those that you trust, and their meaning is personal. They are never a threat, but rather a cautious warning. Never be afraid of making a new scar, but rather, take the lesson they give to heart, and carry on. If you get another scar, whether it is a physical one, or one that scars your heart and mind, then rest assured you will feel pain. But that pain is so you remember that lesson, and so that you don’t forget it. Life will teach you the greatest of lessons, but they will often hurt, and the reason it has such a great pain, is so that the mistake is not repeated.
A scar is nothing to be ashamed about, regardless of what caused it, or what it means. They are testaments of what you have overcome, and what you have survived. They are to be shared and laughed about, cherished and spread between friends. To be comforted about and mended. A scar can be as simple as a scar on your finger, from playing with a bike or as deadly as a rippling jagged mess across your chest, from a car accident that should have claimed your life. The memories they hold carry a weight, a lesson, and a reason to smile. You survived. You live. And you can get better. Big or small, their meaning is what matters. They may leave bad memories, and a pain that will wake you up at night, a nightmare fresh on your mind. But they will be replaced by memories of the better times, of sharing them with friends and finding peace with that scar. It will hurt. It will burn and prickle and tingle, as if someone is picking it open as you share it. But you must remember, if whoever your sharing it with is your friend, then they will allow you that pain, and let you lean on them to deal with it. They will share the pain, and in turn, the lesson.