Physical scars heal. The scar I had that almost killed me when I was young healed a long time ago, I can still see it but it is not painful. Physical scars we see heal over the passage of time, the challenge is scars we don’t see don’t heal automatically over the passage of time.
Everyone has scars, some people don’t wear them on the outside because they are inside and we can’t see them.
It is much harder to recover from emotional scars than from physical ones. Recovering from a bankruptcy for instance is not easy. Emotional wounds can be far more crippling than a physical injury.
It is easy to see physical scars and wounds. You can see if they are old or new, or whether the wounds need to be stitched by a doctor or if a Band-Aid will suffice. But emotional wounds and scars are not as easy to detect. Some emotional scars and wounds are in desperate need of treatment but have been ignored for years.
Ignoring these types of scars and wounds may result in serious psychological damage. It is important to not only recognise when you have emotional wounds but also know what is needed to heal the hurt.
I meet entrepreneurs who are scared to grow their businesses because they have experienced failure in the past and therefore would rather have a small manageable entity that they have total control over than let the business grow to the extend of employing more people and having to trust them to run the business.
After a while when we don’t heal our emotional scars, they become the cul-de-sac in our businesses.
When left unattended, emotional scars become a barrier in our relationships with customers, employees, suppliers and other people.
Lack of trust, guilt, being emotionally unavailable, loneliness, low self-confidence, narcissism are some of the signs of emotional scars. You don’t delegate to your junior because you don’t trust that they will do a good job, you don’t leave your business premises because you are afraid your staff will steal cash from the business, you don’t seek help from others because you don’t think they know more than you do. After a while of doing everything yourself because you don’t trust others, you become the obstacle in your business.
People have ways on how they deal with difficult emotions. I write a lot, and writing gives me the ability to release difficult feelings, other times I prefer to drive a lot distance trip alone. Other people prefer listening to music, reading a scripture, talking to someone or a professional, gym, etc.
Different people have different approaches, but what is important is that you recognise your emotional scars and that you consciously deal them the way you know best.
Growth is painful, change is painful, but nothing is as painful as staying stuck somewhere you don’t belong because you are afraid to confront your emotional scars.
People have scars in all sorts of unexpected places like secret road maps of their personal histories, diagrams of all their old wounds.
Most of our old wounds heal leaving nothing behind but a scar. But some of them don’t.
Some wounds we carry with us everywhere and though the cut is long gone, the pain still lingers.
What is worse? New wounds which are so horribly painful or old wounds that should have healed years ago and never did?
Maybe our old wounds teach us something. They remind us where we have been and what we have overcome.
They teach us lessons about what to avoid in the future.
That is what we like to think but that is not the way it is, is it? Some things we just have to learn over and over and over again until we deal with them.
Unlike physical scars that heal over time, emotional scars don’t heal over time unless and until you consciously decide to confront them and heal.
Once we know how to manage our scars, our scars can become our biggest assets in how we relate with other people.
Elizabeth Gilbert, the writer of Eat, Love and Pray put is very well when she said:
“You can measure the happiness of a marriage by the number of scars that each partner carries on their tongues, earned from years of biting back angry words.”
I’m sure it hurts to let go, but I’m convinced it hurts more to hold on.
Out of suffering have emerged the strongest of souls, the most massive characters are seared with scars.
You matter, you matter more than you think.