Every morning at 9 a.m., my phone goes off and a notification lights up my screen, prompting me to open it and read my daily inspirational message. Some days I’m eagerly waiting to see what the quote is, while other days my hectic morning has moved the thought to the back of my mind.
It was one of those particular mornings. I was in a bad mood, tired, and waiting for my coffee to kick in. I was emotional from lack of sleep and an overwhelming amount of stress. Balancing college classes, homework, work, social life, and family time was getting harder and harder every day. I was slowly sinking into a dark mood and putting my personal needs to the back burner.
I was hanging out at my pity party and the last thing I wanted to do was read some cheesy, inspirational quote about how great my life was or how thankful I should be. Especially when I felt like all my problems were piling up at once, and stacking themselves against the never ending list of “to-do’s”.
But, low and behold, it wasn’t some cheesy quote a teenage girl came up with; it was exactly what I needed to read at exactly the right time.
“Scar tissue is stronger than regular tissue. Realize the strength, move on.” – Henry Rollins
I read it a few times before it really sank in. Something that was so black and white captured so many different shades of grey. The twelve words held so much density and meaning. Henry Rollins was a man of words and knew just how to put you in “the feels”.
Every single living thing on this earth is scarred in one way or another. Whether they are physically seen or internally felt, they are there. Each one of us is branded by the life we have lived and the circumstances we have faced. The scars display our growth and change. They are reminders of things we should not repeat. They are trophies won from the challenges we have overcome. They are the small flicker of light that we look to on our gloomy days. They are momentum from the blows we have bounced back from. They are armor that shows we have fought and waged wars. They are proof that when we are knocked down, we still pick ourselves up and say, “Is that all you’ve got?” They have molded us into the people we are today, regardless of the journey or how long it took us to get here. Our individual scars are what set us apart and make us unique from one person to the next. And even though we may go through similar experiences, each one of us is marked differently than the other.
Every wound has healed as a new layer that protects us from the next blow. We have these scars as proof that we are human and to remind us that we are not invincible. That even though our bodies can be bruised and beaten, we are still strong and resilient. Life may have thrown punches and knocked us to the ground, but we sure as hell kicked and screamed the whole way down. It may have taken ahold of us and held our head under water, but you can bet that we returned to the surface with a stronger set of lungs. It may have dragged us through hell and back, but it taught us how to fight fire with fire; that we can survive the burns and the heat. These scars are reminders that we have come out against all odds and that every setback has only benefited us further. Every dream that we accomplish is as a result of our battles, our challenges and our strength. The journey that we endure is what sets us apart from the rest and is what makes it worthwhile in the end. It is the drive and the ambition that keeps us going.
And the only way to keep going is to not look back. Not to dwell or waste precious time on things that cannot be changed. Take time to heal from the scars and the battles, but do not get comfortable amongst the wounded. Pick yourself up, brush it off, and keep going. Keep fighting and keep pushing through. Our circumstances do not determine our outcome. We are not our mistakes or misfortune. Every second of the day, we have the ability to change what makes us unhappy. Life will hurl you through so many obstacles and make you endure so many challenges. But that is the beauty in life; the journey in finding our way along the path that is laid out for each of us. In our own way and our own time, just how we were created to do so.
There is so much ahead of everyone of us and so much to look forward. There are so many beautiful places to see and beautiful people to meet. They will see your marks, welcome them for what they are and love you for your strength and perseverance. Carry your scars with you, but do not let them burden you or weigh you down. Embrace them for what they are and for whom they have helped you become.
I don’t know about you, but when it’s all said and done, I wouldn’t change my scars for anything.