Sunday, February 21, 2010

We All Have Scars

***Note: If you are not able to look at anything graphic, you may not want to read further. The following post contains graphics of scars that may be upsetting or visual to some. These are not pictures of my body but pictures of the similarities of the scars that I carry.

This has taken a lot for me to post this. In fact, it's truly stepping out of a comfort zone yet, it's needed. Why? Because in our world, we determine beauty based on flawlessness. Very seldom do we look at people with flaws or scars and say, "Oh how beautiful she or he is!"

But, do you ever think about the scars on Jesus hands and feet? Can you imagine them as beautiful? Probably not.

Scars are wounds that have healed but marks are left where the wound once was. (My own definition and not Webster's).

I have scars unfortunately, on the outside. Ones that are very difficult to hide. They are hideous and I can literally tell you that I have cried out to God and asked, "Why me?" so many times that He is probably totally sick of hearing me ask, "Why?"

My external scars are not scars that I can explain. They weren't there one day and then suddenly, they appeared. Maybe they started as something so very small that I didn't think too hard about them. But, slowly, they grew and in return, they became road blocks in my way of being happy and confident.

Living in a community that is so beauty based has been the biggest challenge for me to not feel inferior by my scars. You see, I KNOW that the scars don't define who I am. If anyone looked beyond my scars, they'd see a caring, genuine, honest woman who would take the shirt off of her back to give to someone in need.

Yet, I know for a fact that I can never feel courageous enough to wear a bathing suit or a low cut blouse or even a sexy nightie for fear of not my flab or the bulge battle but my scars.

My daughter was asked recently, to define beauty and her answer was, "When I think of beauty, I think of my mom." It brings tears to my eyes even now to know that she and my youngest daughter see me as beautiful. They look beyond my scars to the person I am, deep inside. They are the most beautiful girls ever and are told constantly, "You should be models" but you know what, they both believe that beauty really is what is on the inside and has nothing, whatsoever to do with what's on the outside.

Then there are those that have external, flawless beauty on the outside but they are crying out on the inside. Their pain is continually being stuffed out of fear that others may really see how they look inside.

Being totally honest here...and I may be hated for my opinion but I don't care whether you are a size 3 and have had a boob job, you are no more beautiful than a woman that has lost a breast to cancer and wears a size 16 or size 18. We have been taught to judge people by their weight, by their complexions, by their height, by the color of their hair or eyes or even the way they talk...when does it stop? When do we really begin to see that what matters the most is the way we are inside and not on the outside?

I have yet to say, "I'm Simone and I'm so very proud of my scars". But maybe, someday, I will. But in the meantime, remember that if Jesus was standing before us, would we be repulsed by his scars or would be embrace him and kiss his nail scarred hands and feet?

Today, I challenge you all to see beauty beyond flaws. One of my favorite sayings (and I have a lot of them) is the greatest masterpiece is one that has flaws.


Buckeroomama said...

I was thinking as I read through your post, "You don't even have to say that, Simone!" The scars may be part of you, but you are not defined by these scars nor should you ever be.

My name is PJ. said...

Simone, you are TREMENDOUSLY courageous to have posted this because, you're right, we live in a photoshopped, airbrushed, nipped and tucked, augmented, injected, dyed and plucked and permed and bleached (I'm sure I missed some) society.

When you know you're becoming healthy, is when you turn away from magazines, television, film, the mall, billboards, etc, and pick up the Good Book to feed what's important: your soul.

God made us each to perfection. YOU are the perfect Simone. NO ONE can do your part better than you. The closer you come to truly understanding this, the more ready you are to hear Him when he speaks to you, the more joyous He becomes.

People who are hip to this and understand what it is to come to grips with physical imperfection stand more ready, in my humble estimation, to be sensitive, sympathetic, empathetic and HELPFUL to others still struggling along that path. THAT is part of our purpose help others.

God gave you everything you need to do your job and you do it so well. It explains, in part, how inspirational and uplifting, interesting and thought-provoking your blog is. A human Barbie couldn't do what you do.

I have scars that run vertically down my front side and down my back side from operations on my back. I have one on my neck from an operation for my thyroid. I have one on my nose from having a glass window break over my head. I have scars on both knees and both arms....and I'm not talking about scars from boo-boos, I'm talking, each time, about scars from stitches, often done by surgeons who couldn't sew well.

I'm not telling you that to say that they're the same as yours. I'm telling you that because I spent the first 20 years of my life hiding them. I remember one summer vacation in Cape Cod, I wore long pants into the ocean over my bathing suit. I was 16.

Thanks for writing this. Sorry I put a blog post in your comment section!! xo

Mari said...

Simone, I have never seen you in person, but I can tell by what I have come to know of you here that you are a beautiful person inside. I've seen pictures of you and you are beautiful on the outside too! The comment by your daughter is very touching. It's too bad that some people look so much at things that don't really make a difference, but those who know you know better!

Farila said...

Clap clap clap!!! This post needs a standing ovation and you got one from me.
You must have known by now that I have been with club foot, breast cancer without reconstruction of breast and the scars are a part of me. I have always thought myself to be what I think.. my mind.
I will always think of you as a beautiful matter how you look. Beauty is not skin deep.

Nezzy said...

My baby girl, now 31, is very scarred on the outside from heart surgeries and the many cardiac caths and procedures she has endured. She has been scared since she was two weeks old. She has always taken the 'at least I'm alive attitiud' when asked about her scars.

I truly believe those scars can help mold you and strengthen you and become just another part of your beauty. Our society tries to convince us just the opposite. It's a great marketing tool for them.

God made us in his own image, perfectly unique in our own way. You are beautiful Simone.

God bless and have a glorious week!!!

roy/elisabeth dean said...

I've only seen the picture of you sitting with a lovely bouquet of flowers. The beauty I find in you is not from the picture, though it IS a great shot. I find you beautiful because you are so full of love, compassion, loyalty, faithfulness and spirituality. When I see a comment from CCD, my heart leaps....I know I'm about to read something that will get me through another day. You needn't show me your scars, I can only see a beautiful Simone!

Ace said...

A very well written and heartfelt post, Simone. I wish people could learn to see others with their hearts not their eyes.

My daughter-in-law dealt with the pain of her teenage years by cutting herself and she now has horrible scars on her arms that clearly let everyone know what she did. She doesn't cover them up like she used to, but I find myself having to stand up for her quite often with people who don't even know her.

Danica said...

Thank you for posting this. I am recently struggling with the scar from my surgery. And on a daily basis I find myself being defined by my scar and I need to get past that. I need to not let something so terrible define me. Yes it happened to me, but no it does not define me.

I think you are beautiful and amazing. Thank you for being so honest and posting with your heart.

Your daughters are blessed to have you!

Kwana said...

What a beautiful post. You are clearly the most beautiful woman. Your daughters are right about that and you have raised beautiful girls. Thanks for being so honest and you have said so much good stuff here today.

Deidra said...

Oh how I appreciate this post! What courage to talk about it.

I have an uncle...a remarkable man...who lives with keloids all over his body, including his face. They are painful and draw the attention of strangers. This man is one of the most beautiful people I know.

Beauty comes from the inside. We all know that. At least, it's what we say. But it takes so much to believe that it is true. What you have written today is beautiful. It is a reflection of your wonderful, beautiful heart.

Thank you!

Sherry said...

I just know that I love you for who you are. Connecting with you through cyberspace and getting to know you has been one of the joys of my life. How you look is so immaterial. To me. And yet...what you speak us such a deep truth Simone. We are a society that spends far too much time thinking about and putting value on "how" people look rather than "who" people are.

It is only since my breast cancer that I have been able to look at my body and say "I love you" and it's okay how I look. I have a large portwine birthmark over my left breast (the one that didn't have cancer) and had always been embarrassed by it. Now? It's really nothing compared to everything else in my life and I'm rather pleased with it -- it's something I have that no one else does, in that place, looking exactly like it does.

Scars seem to indicate to us something marred...but your analogy to Jesus and his scars is brilliant and beautiful.

I hope and pray that one day you will be able to embrace your scars, say they are beautiful because they are part of you and who you are.

And God bless those daughters of've raised them well with hearts of gold and empathy and values in all the right places ♥

Xmas Dolly said...

“The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.” Helen Keller People who see something physical, but not the beauty of the heart and inner soul are very small minded. I don't have big scars, but my face does have holes from acne. My family could not afford a dermatologist when I was younger. I thought that because my face had these I'd never find someone to love me. That I wasn't pretty like the other girls. When I got older I forgot about these scars because I had many friends, and dates. My friends look beyond the physical. These are true friends.

Also, thank you for stopping by my blog, and commenting on my coffee. I have many ideas to try, so I will do an update about it later. Have a great day my friend.

Joanna Jenkins said...

Dear Simone, You are a very brave woman and this was a heartfelt post that brought tears to my eyes.

Since I've had the pleasure of meeting you in person, I know how beautiful and confident you are.

Society, specifically the media, is not kind to "imperfections" (their words no mine) and it's a crying shame because a person is far more then the texture of their skin. It's the quality of their heart that count and yours is extremely full.

I can appreciate how hard it is for you to see your body changing and not being able to do anything about it. Know my heart is with you and I'm cheering you on.


Lion-ess said...

this is exactly how I feel. I grew up a tom boy climbing trees, fishing etc in the Caribbean. I fell down, got bruises but didn't mind until I started high school. Growing up I loved my scars, but at high school surrounded by flawless skin, I became self-conscious. Since then, I've never worn shorts outside my house. Going to the beach is endless thoughts on strategy. How can I get into the water before anyone sees my scars. How should I sit to hide them. I used to ask God why me as well. I'm still dealing with them and dreading my aunt's wedding in a few weeks. It's on the beach and I have to wear a short dress.

This is a beautiful and courageous post! I wish I could be so open.

Heart2Heart said...


Well said, and I for one took a huge step of faith and published on my blog what scar and pain has been going on in my life for quite some time. Sometimes all you want is for your readers to find happiness and joy each time they stop by, but I have found, that they just want you, scars and all and know that like you, they can share in your pain and for once, we can see ourselves in the same light.

Love and Hugs ~ Kat

InnyVinny said...

This is a beautiful post and I completely agree with you. Completely.

Veronica Lee said...

I've seen pics and videos of you and I think you're beautiful, inside and outside.

I'd love to meet you in person.

Elle Bee said...

Oh sweet simone how profound this is!! I so want my children to grow up with a different perspective of beauty than what the world will teach them. YOU are beautiful! I don't care about scars. Or the way anyone looks. Your beauty is real and important--kindness, generosity, faith--those things are beautiful to me.
Hugs to you my blogging friend.

Samantha kritney said...

Scar on face is traumatic experience for girls, cos face is the defining pint of a girl personality. some scars can be removed easily by using scar removal creams.

♥ Braja said...

We all have scars, only some peoples' are inside...

Arizona Mamma said...

I think it says a lot about your self-confidence, and strength to have been so open with this.

You couldn't be more on the mark about beauty and how we all usually define it. There is so much beauty in everything if we just choose to see it that way.

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