The other day, standing at the check-out aisle a man asked me if I had survived cancer. I turned around and with a smile asked, “No! But do you know something that I don’t? ” He said that my tattoo (which I forget I have since it’s on my back right below the neck) reminded him of someone who had survived some kind of health issue. I smiled back and said, “I have. I have survived life.” He of course, smiled widely. The cashier at this point laughed. I continued, “We all survive life one way or another. As magical and tender as it can be one moment, it can go sour real quick and push you over the edge.” The cashier mumbled, “I hear you, like working in this place all day long.”
We all wear scars, some visibly while others deep seated inside the soul. Only we know of their existence. When we are ready to share with another the scars seem to heal slowly. Those scars are road maps to the past. They can guide us with strength onto the next journey. I was raped at 18. The scar from the violence laid silence for years inside. It wasn’t until I allowed the secret to come out that I began to heal. I choose not to play the role of victim but survivor. We all survive. We can survive with dignity and carry those battle scars with pride, or we can play the martyr and victim creating a story for the rest of our life. Whatever you choose defines you. There is nothing perfect in this world. Mind, body and spirit are united to carry us through everything we do in our timelines.
Life is not symmetrical. It isn’t perfect. It is full of oxymoron characters, messy contradictions, juicy imperfections, scars of pain, but mostly it is filled with the awareness that the journey is always the best part. Relish those things you enjoy. Find freedom through forgiveness. Wear those scars outside like a tattoo. I love passing my hands through someone’s scars. It allows me to be part of their survival. You have survived every second of your life. Don’t allow the pain to paralyze you or dictate how you will continue on this beautiful journey. In the end, those are the moments that will carry you through the path of joy inside. It is then that Spirit is holding your hands. Life is to be attended through the joy and contentment of simple moments. It can be through a conversation at the grocery store with a stranger or while holding your best friend’s hand. Find the balance between this moment and all that awakes in you. Experience the awakening and let it take you wherever it needs to go with scars, tattoos and all.
“It matters not what road we take but rather what we become on the journey.” – from a fortune cookie