How to Love your Scars

Throughout your every day life, it’s difficult to see past the smiles that the people you meet may give you. Although these smiles are infectious, they have stories. They are everything that someone has overcome to allow themselves to partake in the difficult task of contracting those muscles to show their teeth. They’re the fear in someone’s eyes when they think that they’re about to die; the happiness in someone’s heart when they’re finally able to accept who they are on the outside. I’m going to talk about the emotional topic that is the beautiful ability to accept the scars wrapped around your body.

Odds are that we know at least one person in our lives who have scars. Whether they’re from surgical incisions or terrible accidents, they tell the tale of bravery on soft skin. The real issue here is that people who have scars generally think of themselves as taboo to society. Heck, I know I did. Most of the time, it’s so difficult for someone with scars to witness the bodies of other people; a figure that they’ll never be able to grasp.

Let’s Get Personal

I always will be prepared to lend an ear to the difficult and scary experiences that other people have gone through. I know that throughout the years of dealing with the many emotions towards my car accident back in the summer of 2011, talking to people about my feelings helped me accept myself more than any compliments or reassurance of my physical appearance ever could. I’m not saying that other people in your life can’t be catalysts to your own road to self-acceptance, but you really are the only person that can make yourself truly happy.

A few months after I turned 16, I was the victim of a motor vehicle accident that left me with a multitude of health problems, years of rehabilitation, and scars. My main ones are bound around my hips where the seatbelts cut into, but I also have the main surgical incision under my bandage (that hides my open wound that I’ve been struggling with for many years). Before I accepted my body, I would hide myself. I would hide who I was then and I would hide who I wanted to be. When I think back years to my struggle of rehabilitation, learning to walk again and overall healing weren’t the hardest parts. The hardest part was definitely being able to look at myself shirtless in the mirror without hating who I was. When I reflect on how I felt back then and how many other people are currently feeling about their bodies, it hurts me more than any vehicle impact ever could. And that’s why I’m here today: to write about why your scars are beautiful.

The Reality of it All

If there’s anything I’ve learned over the passed few years, it’s that people are curious. Never have I met someone that has been disgusted or hateful about my body and scars, they’ve just been intrigued. Wherever you go, people will look, which will never change. However, it’s easier done than said to change how people look at you. If someone asks about your story, embrace it. Tell them about how you survived your cancer surgery and tell them about how you survived your car accident. But most importantly, tell them about your love for this opportunity to live again and let it resonate through every smile. After this, I promise everything will change about how you and everyone else perceive that persona of yours. However, if you’re not at that level of acceptance yet, don’t worry. The most important thought you have to keep embedded in your mind is that you will reach that place. Whether you’re walking around with a towel around your neck at the pool confidently holding up your chin or around your waist because you’re uncomfortable with your scars, no one is going to think you’re lesser than them. Although it took me a while to realize it, nothing but respect and curiosity stems from glances and stares, and that’s okay.

It’s Your Body and it’s Inspiring to the Entire World

Throughout this journey, I’ve met dozens of people who have contributed to the trajectory of loving myself. Out of these many amazing people, I’ll never forget what my grade 12 teacher told me to do. She gave me the challenge of looking into a mirror for 20 and smiling while truly and sincerely trying to find self-acceptance. Warning: although this can definitely be emotional for anyone (I suggest everyone try it), I tried doing this without a shirt on for a year or so. It definitely did help, and it’s a rewarding outcome when you’re able to easily take your shirt off in the summer and walk around with a confident strut.

With all of this being said, I want anyone with scars to share their stories with people who ask. I want you all to look deep inside yourselves to find the memories that bring your scars to life and wear them on your back with pride because you really are an inspiration to everyone around you. It’s your only body and the way I see it, why be ashamed of these trophies that show just how brave of a human being you are? And if you don’t have scars, I hope that this piece lets you take a walk in someone else’s shoes because sometimes all we really need is for someone to understand.

Most of the time, compliments cannot make someone feel better about their bodies. However, you can be the support and one of the stepping-stones that they need to get to the wonderful place that took me so long to get to.

#ScarsAreBeautiful

Always with love,

Jesse

P.S. If this hits home and you’d like to talk to me about your stories or experiences, I’m more than willing to chat on Facebook (Jesse Lesniowski). 

 

 

 

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