count my scars

I still recall how I got my first major scar. An aunt had come visiting and wanted to polish my shoes for me. (She was going to be taking away her shoe polish). In the excitement and haste of an eight year old boy I stood up under an open window and the sharp corner made a crunching contact with my skull. Next I was all red and bawling like there was no tomorrow. I still have the scar up to today and I am very wary of where I seat and how I stand up.

Twenty six years later my scar was revisited. I was deep down in a foreign country on assignment and staying in one of those tourist resort towns where all roofing is natural thatch that overlaps the sides of the lodges. In a haste to get to a waiting car, I miscalculated the clearance height of where the roofing pole ended and I stood up under it. I saw red again and for some moments it sounded like my five senses had lost coordination and were all jumbled. I bled and had to use a facial tissue to stem the bleeding. A visit to the barber a month later revealed a scar that was about three centimeters long. I still have the scar and now know to stay away from standing up or exiting under roof ledges.

And so we all have scars. Scars have one thing in common, they bring pain. They are a constant reminder of what we could have done better or what was wrongly done to us. The remembrance of pain in most occasions is good enough to deter us from similar ventures that earned us the previous scars but at times it takes a second scar to jolt us back and heighten the significance of playing away from the scar zone.

Scars leave permanent marks. It could be gory slashes, disfigured faces, bumpy skulls, limps etc . . . . these are marks that show the presence of a scar. These marks tell a story of pain, a pain that when given a chance the bearers would not have opted to undergo.

But the worst scars are the invisible ones. Those that we cannot mask with mascara, those that we cannot pull woolen hats over, those that we cannot put long-sleeved items over- emotional scars. Scars of the emotion are dangerous because they do not have marks. No one limps because they have been hurt emotionally, no one wears a sling because of an emotional hurt and so the emotional scars are carried back and forth until when one explodes and in retrospect it is found that they had emotional scars.

We all have scars. How we handle our scars determines how we will move. Some carry scars like trophies to be admired by everyone, some lug their scars along to seek sympathy and piety and some will use their scars to justify their shortcomings. All these are on the losing trail.

One who learns from their scars and seeks to avoid getting more scars is the one who will live to tell a tale and see another day. So count your scars, learn from them and walk more circumspectly from thereon.