Scars are the results of the biological process of wound repair in the skin and other tissues. Some scars are unsightly and there are countless of oils, ointments and medical procedures to remove them. Some of us carry psychological scars. The emotional scars that no one sees and yet the person who bears them feels their presence every day of their lives. Recently, I was watching an episode of Criminal Minds called “The Slave of Duty” where in the end, David Rossi responds to a colleague’s comment that one doesn’t survive without a few scars. He says, “Scars remind us where we’ve been. They don’t have to dictate where we’re going.” I greatly admire the people who are able to take their scars and become greater than they were before.
The people who survive use their scars to remind themselves of the battles they’ve gone through, to remind themselves how far they’ve come. Carly Simon once said that “a really strong woman accepts the war she went through and is ennobled by her scars.” Meaning? A survivor is proud of his or her scars and said “yes I lived through this and here I am.” I can think of countless of men and women who despite their scars stood up and said I’m not going to let this slow me down. J.R. Martinez was a U.S. Army infantryman in Iraq when he suffered severe burns to 34% of his body. This fire left him severely burned and disfigured but did it stop him? No, he went on to become a motivational speaker, actor and he won Season 13 of Dancing with the Stars. Another inspirational survivor is Amy Purdy. She lost both legs below the knee due to an infection stemming from Neisseria meningitis. She would also lose both kidneys and received a transplant from her father. She would later win a Bronze medal in snowboarding at the 2014 Sochi Olympics and win 2nd place in Season 18 of Dancing with the Stars. These two people could have just sat down and played the pity party but they knew they were meant for something greater.