My little one got a haircut yesterday, and this time got his wish of wanting to buzz the sides and the back very closely to his head. I’m not one to argue about personal style, so I let him own his choice. As the stylist was buzzing away, a “bald” patch appeared on the back of his head. At first I thought he had clipped a little too closely, but then realized it was in fact a scar. It was an injury from a couple years ago that we didn’t think needed stitches, but looking at the scar now, maybe we should have.
Either way, it got me to thinking about the scars we can’t see. We all have experiences that have left their marks on us either physical or emotionally. Some manage to have both qualities, like my c-section scars, for example. I can see them and they elicit an incredible emotional response because it’s evidence of my three beautiful children. Other scars I carry, are ones that aren’t visible, but certainly hold with them pain and wounding that impact the person I am today. Usually in a positive way, or at least that’s what I hope! There was a Broadway show last season called “Violet”. It starred the amazing Sutton Foster, along with other incredible singers and actors, and was in short, a story of a woman whose face had been scarred in a terrible accident when she was a child. We watch as the character, Violet, makes her journey away from home for the first time to find a preacher who might heal her and remove her scar. As she passes through various bus stops, people react to her scar as though she were hideous and disfigured. What was so remarkable, was that Sutton Foster was not layered with makeup or props to simulate a scar, her face was her typical, flawless beauty.
However, by the second act, that scar is as real on Violet’s face as the pain in her voice when she sings about the accident that made her that way. Don’t worry, there is a happy ending, and we watch as Violet falls in love with someone who sees her as a person, not just a walking wound. I was certainly a mess of tears by the end. There’s a line in the show (several for sure) that resonated with me, so much that I’m taking it and making it my own. It’s the preacher character, who is giving a sermon and repeats several times “Are you IN the way? Or are you ON the way?” It seemed to be a question of healing and moving forward with one’s life. I came up with an answer for myself and hope somehow it resonates with you, too. “Are you IN the way? Or are you ON the way? If you don’t know, then GET OUT of the way!” For me, it means, stop trying to understand why, or blame how come certain things don’t happen, but rather get out of your own way so that new experiences can present themselves. Some of us have matching scars and we find each other and give each other comfort and solace, but we must take care to make sure our scars don’t define us and prevent us from truly living. That’s ultimately what a scar is, whether physical or emotional, it’s a reminder that we are alive and that we are blessed to keep finding opportunities to create memories even if some of them end up hurting.
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