Show your scars with pride

I have a scar just above my right eye.  This scar serves as a reminder for me.  I was playing inside an abandoned building as a child when I got this scar.  As a 7-year-old, I already knew that it was wrong for me to be in this building without permission.

Maybe it was this sense of guilt that caused me to be on a heightened alert when I heard a loud noise from down the hallway.  Knowing I was trespassing, I quickly took off running, and without noticing what was in front of me, ran directly into a window.

I’ve carried a scar that’s impossible to hide as a result of this incident for almost my entire life.  

There are a few lessons that I learned from this scar that have served me over the years.  Last week, I had the honor of sitting down and talking with singer-songwriter Kelly Lang.  She’s a woman that has gone through to tough experiences in life and has the scars to show for them.

My conversation with the UNBEATABLE Kelly Lang gives some similar lessons from her scars.  Here are three things I want you to remember about the scars that you carry.  Maybe these three lessons will give you the confidence to show your scars with pride. 

Learn from your past

The doctors that worked on my scar told me how close I came to losing my right eye.  The glass from the window slashed open my eyelid.  This thin layer of skin barely saved my right eye. To this day, it looks like I have a drooping eyelid.

I deserve the scar over my eye. Kelly Lang, however, was diagnosed with cancer as a young woman, but she did nothing wrong which led to this cancer diagnosis. Sometimes your scars are the result of your own mistakes; sometimes your scars are just the marks that life in a difficult world can leave on you.

Kelly carries the physical scars of surgery after a battle with cancer. A cancer diagnosis is going to make a big impact on anyone. Kelly didn’t run from her past scars but allowed them to shape her into the woman she is today.  You, too, can learn from your past and let those scars remind you of some valuable lessons.

Scars add personality

Kelly is an entertainer and a celebrity, which makes her scars especially challenging to bear.  It takes courage for anyone to show their scars. It takes an even greater degree of courage for a public figure to show their scars and admit their past challenges.

We all make a choice when a painful experience in our past leaves a scar: Either we attempt to cover our scars to hide our past, or we choose to allow the world to see our vulnerabilities and mistakes by showing the scars with pride.

“We all have scares, but you don’t have to let them define you.”

Kelly made this powerful statement during the interview that has stuck with me.  I wonder how many people go to great lengths to hide their scars from outsiders. And in the process, they devote so much time to covering up the scars that they start to take on too much energy and attention.  Pretty soon, all the trouble spent covering the scars make them more important in your life than they should be.

Let your scar demonstrate that you’ve been through some hard things in life.  Show your scars as a way of reminding the people around you that your life isn’t perfect either. This healthy way of thinking of looking at scars will cause them to add personality to your life without becoming the center of attention.

Scar tissue is stronger

The skin above my right eye is stronger than the skin above my left eye.  That’s because when fully healed, the scar tissue is almost always stronger than the skin around it.  Now that the scar has fully healed, I’d rather take a punch in my right eye than my left.  

This scar taught me a lesson about the dangers of being in the wrong place and doing the wrong things.  I’ve carried that lesson in my heart- and above my right eye- for a lifetime.  In this way, your scars can make you stronger physically and mentally.  

Perhaps it was the scars from her first bout with cancer that gave Kelly the strength to fight it when the cancer came back later in life. Today, Kelly uses her music and her scars to help others deal with difficulties.

Find out how her song, “I’m Not Going Anywhere” is inspiring people at Ascension Hospital and around the world. 

Listen to the whole interview with Kelly HERE.

Further reading

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