Cat From The Mat

Wear Your Scars

 scar |skär|   noun

• a mark left on the skin or within body tissue where a wound, burn, or sore has not healed completely and fibrous connective tissue has developed
• a lasting effect of grief, fear, or other emotion left on a person's character by a traumatic experience

Scars are souvenirs of having lived life.  I have scars from camp days, from jamming my shin into the wooden cabin steps or tripping over tree roots barefoot.  Or there was the bike accident I had when I was thrown over the handlebars landing on my helmet-less head, resulting in a severe concussion.  My mental memories were somehow washed away upon impact.  The marks on my body and face however are remnants to prove what happened. And now in breast cancer recovery, I have visible scars from my surgeries, as well as invisible ones from the concurrent trauma of my diagnosis amidst my mother’s untimely death.

When we have physical traumas, our body becomes a map of the war wounds of life.  But what about our mental and emotional scars? How is it we can be aware of those wounds when they are not so measurable?

The human physical makeup has complex interwoven systems.  Our fascia is like a body-sac, made up of an organized connective tissue that helps create relationship within the whole body.  Scars mark locations of disorganized connective tissue, where there is damage to repair.   This break in the pattern along the tapestry of tissue is not unlike a glitch in the matrix.  

As the fascia reknits the fabric of your skin to heal any incisions or punctures, the bonded area becomes stronger than the two parts to which is it connecting.  When we break a bone, the healed area is also stronger than the two ends of each broken parts.  Could this mean that reorganization is needed for healing to happen?

Over the past five years, I have had a lot of loss, from divorce to cancer to death.  My heart has felt wounded.  It has been an opportunity to reorganize my inner workings, from my embodied habits to my belief systems.  It’s easy to consider each painful wound as something to protect.  But what if I could look at each emotional scar as an indication of healing, so that my heart gets stronger each time?  I am learning to reframe my lacerations as mementos of learning and growth.

Hindsight is 20/20.  I consider this New Year as a time of clarity, direction, and moving into the year as an upgraded version of myself.  I cannot change the events of the past, but I can treat them as mile markers of progress along my narrative of existence.  Adaptability, resilience, and perspective are crucial things that my practice of yoga and NVC (Non-Violent Communication) help me cultivate. I continue to be the author of my chosen journey.

Can you wear your scars with pride, knowing you have had a history in your body, mind, and heart? Life invites us to transmute challenges into lessons, vulnerability into strength, crap into fertilizing manure.  This takes courage in the face of pain or grief.  

Having been in survival mode, I am ready to live life fully and thrive.  I am jumping into 2020 with more vim and vigor, putting my scared self even more out there with my healing heart.  The worst thing that can happen is that I open myself up and risk getting hurt again.  This offers the opportunity to restore myself with even more powerful scars, embarking upon a new decade of empowered embodiment! 

Happy New Year! 

Cat From The Mat

January 2020