Our scars can give others hope


I had total knee replacement surgery last September. My knee did fine and the surgery was a total success. I do have a scar, however. I don’t notice it much anymore, but the scar is about 7-8 inches long and is clearly visible when I wear short pants. I often see others notice it and, occasionally, someone will ask about it. For instance, those that have experienced the same thing will frequently ask, “So, how long ago was your knee surgery?” For other individuals that are nearing the same point with their own knees, they might ask, “I see that you have had knee replacement surgery. My surgeon has told me that mine is ready, but I haven’t decided yet. Can I ask you a few questions?”

I also have scars on both shoulders and my back. It seems that my scars, when noticed by others, provides a sense of kinship or connection to those that have experienced a similar event. And, for those that are approaching a similar surgery, my own scars become a source of information, comfort, and hope. It is amazing the number of times that I have spoken with others about my surgical experiences after which they express a sense of relief or appreciation to hear it from someone that has already successfully gone through it. Sometimes, talking through my scars gives others the hope that their own surgery will end their pain or problem.

Emotional scars can also help give hope to others. When you have experienced emotional pain in your own life, for example, the loss of a job, you have instant credibility with others when you talk with them about how they can best manage the interim period until their next job. When others experience the loss of a loved one, they can relate to you as you speak of your own loss and how you dealt with it.

The thing about emotional scars is that they are usually impossible for others to see… that is, unless you are willing to allow them to be seen. For others to benefit from your experiences (e.g., your emotional scars), you have to be vulnerable and allow it. Only then can you relate experiences, suggestions, and solutions that can provide hope to others. Too often, we try to quietly deal with our own pain and scars, but knowing that others might benefit should motivate us to be more open and trusting.

Sharing your own pain and frustrations can be beneficial to you, as well. It is sad to learn, all too frequently these days, of individuals that commit suicide despite seemingly having everything good life has to offer. Many of these individuals have wealth, fame, friends, and a future that make it appear that their lives are perfect. However, many of these individuals suffer emotional scars that they never share. Allowing others to understand and feel your own pain is often the first step to healing and attaining that hope we all need.

Think about your own scars today. Can you use them to make a difference for someone else? Or, are you experiencing a wound that may never properly heal unless you share it with someone else? This is a great day to begin sharing that hope with others… or yourself.

Have a great day!

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