That'll Leave a Mark

September 05, 2014

Recently I had blood drawn for a physical. My veins were especially uncooperative that day, and for a while I sported a pair of bruises on my forearms from the experience. They weren’t painful, but they were noticeable (sadly, I wasn’t able to think up a more dashing story to go with them). This got me thinking about bruises in general, and scars, too.

We can’t get far without collecting our share of bruises and scars. Life, it seems, has a way of marking us, reminding us of both our fragility and our resilience. We’re so fragile that a bump can break blood vessels under the skin and cause blood to pool in the tissues, and we can easily be cut or scraped, sometimes resulting in a scar.

But we’re also resilient. Bruises fade and heal, and scars, in fact, are proof of healing, at least according to Wikipedia: “Any injury does not become a scar until the wound has completely healed.”

Bruises and scars are badges of honor. We don’t get banged up by staying safe at home in our comfort zones. If we’ve gotten a bruise or scar, we were probably out doing something, learning something, experiencing everyday adventures. 

I've had a few bruises from Tank
Sometimes bruises and scars don’t show up in our outer appearance. Sometimes the injury occurs internally, but leaves a mark nevertheless. Those emotional wounds can be more painful than physical ones, but they eventually heal, too, little by little becoming less painful. If we can remember that healing is a process and an inevitable one at that, we’ll be able to handle the initial pain better. We’ve all heard Ernest Hemingway’s words from A Farewell to Arms: “The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places.”

We all have bruises and scars, marks from experience won or lessons learned. We all have stories written on our bodies. What stories can yours tell?

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  1. Very thoughtful post Kathy. I think the ones no one sees are often the hardest to heal. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Hope all your have healed (and from Tank as well)! Hugs.

  2. Kathy, your writing is so beautiful & expresses so well ideas that help me live this sometimes fragile, sometimes hardy, thank you...
    I went through a number of outwardly visible injuries during certain years. But, outer, or inner, sometimes it takes learning HOW to heal & having faith that we are indeed meant to heal.

  3. Debbie--Yes, it does seem like the unseen bruises are the slowest to heal. And, yes, I am all healed up, and (knock on wood) Tank hasn't given me a bruise in quite a while.

  4. Rita--Thank you for your kind comment. I think it takes a number of years, and a number of bumps and bruises, for us to realize that healing is a process and it WILL happen.

  5. Kathy, well, if this isn't a timely post for me to read! Thank you for explaining things so well. As far as outward scars, I have a few. One is a small one from falling off of my babysitters big bike that I was riding in 3rd grade. The other is a larger one under my arm, where I crawled under the coffee table when I was one and upset a pot of fresh coffee all over myself. Ouch!

    Thanks so much for stopping by to see me, I appreciate you.

    Kathy M.

  6. Kathy--I imagine you're healing from some internal injuries right now. Take heart--healing does come. It's nice to have you back in the blog-o-verse.