The subtle art of acceptance

A scar simply means you were stronger than whatever tried to hurt you

If you have no scars, then you need to ask yourself whether you’ve ever truly lived. Be they physical scars from accidents on motorbikes, mental scars from the time you made a fool of yourself at the Christmas party or emotional scars from a love that broke your heart, scars are the result of our experiences and of our limits being tested.

Every scar is a reminder of what happened before. It reminds you of what happened to cause it, the pain you suffered and how you thought it would never get better. It reminds you of the time it took to heal at all, and sometimes the scar tissue leaves a mark so deep that it affects you as you just try and live your normal day to day life.

And that’s a wonderful thing. Because even those scars, from wounds so deep that they nearly broke you, didn’t break you. You are here today, reading this right now, packed full of physical, mental and emotional scars, each and every one of which has made you who you are.

Some people try to cover up their scars. They see them as merely a reminder of the pain and not of the healing. They cover them with clothes, makeup, smiles, humour, anecdotes and more, hiding them from the world in an effort to hide them from themselves. Others go to great lengths to try to remove those scars entirely, ironically making them deeper the more they try to eliminate them.

With some exceptions, it’s about time we stopped that. Stopped being ashamed of our scars, stopped being ashamed of how we got them, stopped being ashamed of how they’ve shaped us in the past and crafted us into the people we are today. None of us has led the perfect life, with no hardship or effort and with no scars to show for it along the way. It’s time for us to be more proud of our journeys.

The Japanese have got the best approach of all when it comes to this. Kintsugi is the art of taking cracked porcelain or even glassware and not discarding it or repairing it seamlessly. Instead, the cracks are filled with gold before being re-varnished, fixing the gaps without trying to eliminate all trace of them. Instead it takes what are otherwise regarded as faults and makes them an intrinsic part of the beauty of what is now a new and remade piece. If anything, the cracks make the beauty even more profound.

Our scars tell the story of our lives. They teach us lessons and remind us of how strong we are. Any therapy or thought process which is about avoiding or removing those scars is removing a part of us. In doing so it makes us lesser versions of ourselves.

No, it is time to embrace our scars. Be proud of them, show them off for all the world to see and declare to ourselves that we are healed. Those scars may ache from time to time, they may cause pain in certain situations, but that is to be accepted and embraced.

Our scars showed that we have already survived things that, before we earned them, we thought would be the end of us.

They weren’t.

You are stronger than everything which has tried to break you. Remember that and Kintsugi the hell out of yourself.

5 thoughts on “The subtle art of acceptance

Add yours

  1. Thank you .. a lovely thought provoking piece.
    Yes we all have scars … some more obvious than others and yes ther are badges of honor … every one

    Thanks for sharing

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am all for Kintsugi. I have items handed down through the family that bear those scars and I love them. Whilst I am stronger for mine I’m not sure yet if that’s a good thing. I’m still a work in progress and provided I don’t always carry the distrust I feel now, I will think of them as good. I certainly feel like it stops me going forward and making good choices though. Breaking the habit is the tricky bit.


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