What Your Scars Say about You

See this scar on my left wrist? That’s from when my front teeth got knocked out. I scraped my wrist when I landed on the pavement.

And this scar on my left knee? That’s from when I fell and scraped my knee on gravel as a boy. I had to take the pieces of gravel out of my bleeding wound.

With these examples, it can seem that I didn’t take good enough care of the left side of my body. Those scars and others on both sides of my body have faded as I’ve gotten older. To the point where I had to look carefully for them to make sure they were still there.

What are scars about? Our scars tell a story. What do your scars say about you?

You’ve Been Hurt

“Scars have the strange power to remind us that our past is real.” – Cormac McCarthy

Yes, those incidents happened to you. You’ve been hurt. You’ve been through plenty of pain. And it’s so easy to remember that, too.

“The human race tends to remember the abuses to which it has been subjected rather than the endearments. What’s left of kisses? Wounds, however, leave scars.” – Bertolt Brecht

And when you’ve been hurt, it can be so easy to hurt others, too. Wounded people wound others.

“Words are powerful. Be careful how you use them because once you have pronounced them, you cannot remove the scar they leave behind.” – Vashti Quiroz-Vega

But it doesn’t have to be that way. The cycle of pain can be broken.

“Some scars don’t hurt. Some scars are numb. Some scars rid you of the capacity to feel anything ever again.” – Joyce Rachelle

I’ve had periods of time when I’ve been numb. I longed to feel something again in those times, even if it was pain. Strangely enough, pain and numbness are part of the healing process. Your scars show you’ve been recovering from the hurt you’ve suffered.

And You Are Healing

“Some people see scars, and it is wounding they remember. To me, they are proof of the fact that there is healing.” – Linda Hogan

You’re bigger than the pain you’ve experienced. You are healing. Your scars are proof of that. Your scars show your progress. You have a story to tell.

“Some scars may tell of childhood clumsiness, surgeries, or other painful events. The mark left speaks loudly and says, “Yes, I was injured, but now that wound has healed.” … Your scars tell your story. They can tell of the pain, the difficulties, the triumphs or joys.” – Bonnie Annis

Looked at this way, your scars are something to celebrate.

“Scars are not injuries. … A scar is a healing. After injury, a scar is what makes you whole.” – China Mieville

You may have been like Humpty Dumpty. You may have been knocked into pieces, and you may have felt that nothing and no one could ever put you back together again.

Guess that? Your scars show that you’ve been knit back together. You’re being reborn and transformed. You didn’t die. You get to keep going, stronger and better than ever.

You’re a Survivor

“My scars show pain and suffering, but they also show my will to survive. They’re part of my history that’ll always be there.” – Cheryl Rainfield

I’m thankful for my scars. I don’t know where I’d be without them. I can’t pretend the pain and suffering didn’t happen. It did happen, and I can see the usefulness of those experiences. I can see the necessary, painful growth that has occurred because of those situations. That’s right. Not despite those situations. Because of them.

“Scars show us where we have been. They do not dictate where we are going.” – David Rossi

The past does not equal the future. Or the present, for that matter. You’re a survivor, and you can use your scars as evidence of the strength you’ve gained. You’re still here, and you have so much to live for, experience, and give. I’m excited for you. Even if we never meet in this lifetime, I know you can make the world much brighter simply because you’re here.

“A scar does not form on the dying. A scar means I survived.” – Chris Cleave

And that’s the whole point. What will you do with your scars? Will you try to hide them, as if they’re something to be ashamed of? Or will you be grateful for your scars and live up to the message they give you?

“My scars remind me that I (survived) my deepest wounds. That in itself is an accomplishment. And they … remind me that the damage life has inflicted on me has, in many places, left me stronger and more resilient. What hurt me in the past has … made me better equipped to face the present.” – Steve Goodier

When I was going through the experiences that brought on the scars, I wasn’t expecting something beautiful from all that. I knew I would survive, but I couldn’t predict the beauty that would result. I bet you couldn’t either.

You’ve been through so much. You’ve been hurt, and you are healing. You’re a survivor.

And You Are Beautiful

I find beauty in my scars. … We may hurt, but we will heal, and there’s beauty in our scars.” – Alexandra Heather Foss

And since your scars are beautiful, you’re beautiful, too. You’re beautiful with your scars and without them.

“Scars fade with time. And the ones that never go away, well, they build character, maturity, caution.” – Erin McCarthy

Think of how much stronger you’ve become. Think of the character, maturity, and wisdom you’ve gained because of your scars.

“The best people all have some kind of scar.” – Kiera Cass

Take a moment of silence to think of all you’ve gained. Your richness of character, strength, beauty, maturity, and wisdom. Even from experiences and situations that you wouldn’t wish on anybody. You’re still here, and you have a choice to make.

“We can choose to still be that person who got the scar, or we can choose to be someone else.” – Sally Hope

You’re standing at a crossroads in your life. Which way will you choose?

Will you be bitter about the pain and the suffering that have helped make you who you are today? Or will you be grateful for all that and use it for the ultimate good?


“For all the potential tales of woe … they suggest, scars are also signposts of optimism. If your body is game enough to knit itself back together after a hard physical lesson, to make scar tissue, that means you’re still alive (and) on the path toward healing. … The scars remind me, too, that in this vain culture, our vanity sometimes needs to be punctured and deflated, and that’s not such a bad thing.” – Dana Jennings

What do your scars say about you?

You’ve been hurt, and you are healing. You’re a survivor, and you are beautiful.

Without your scars, you wouldn’t have reached the heights you can now. Don’t ask me why it works that way. I simply know that it does. This can be considered one of the strange mysteries of the universe. You are perfected by what you endure and have experienced.

You can only reach great heights after you’ve been to the depths.

What do your scars say about you?

You are more than your pain. Your healing can help bring healing to others. You’re still alive. You’re here, and you get to spread beauty wherever you go.

Your scars are badges of honor. Your scars say you are on a journey of transformation, and I’m thankful to share that journey with you.

I want to know how you got those scars, what you’ve gained from them, and what you’re doing. Tell me all that in the comments section below.

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Until next time,

James Barnett

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