How to Treat a Scar
Scars are amongst the most hated things in the world - some physical, some emotional. People's desperate desire to wipe away a scar earns millions for many industries. Scars are treated with contempt.
I have a few scars to show - childhood falls, stray ones from the occasional zit, cooking mishaps and more recently, a large scar from a surgery. Then there are the emotional scars - various shapes, sizes and really too many to list out.
Scars are nasty little things. Like everyone else, I would've liked nothing better than to be scar free - beginning with the physical ones. Since this is wishful thinking, I too followed the well-beaten path of scar treatments - natural packs, scrubs, medicated creams. And thank God for my favourite brand of makeup - MAC! Not withstanding the magical management balms, it would be better if scars simply did not exist.
In late 2013, at 28 years old, my perspective on scars got a permanent overhaul.
My older daughter arrived without me suffering a scar – a blessing indeed! Little did I know that, 4yrs later, in 2012, my second little girl would arrive via an emergency C-section and worse still, she would pass away three days later. I suddenly found myself shattered on every level imaginable and left to move on while displaying strength and character that lined up with my then 4yr old's perception of me. A line from one of my favourite songs goes like this, 'I see who I want to be, in my daughter's eyes'. Those profound lyrics became real.
The emotional scars were the worst. Fortunately, the mirror didn’t present them to me every day. The mirror did, however, present a large physical scar - a daily, horrifying reminder that my baby is gone forever. The negatives it then represented were paralysing - loss, pain, failure, desolation, unanswered questions, unfinished work, lost dreams, doubts for the future and a whole range of other deeper issues. It haunted me.
As I walked through hell, I did the only thing that has always helped me face another day - I prayed as best I could. Then I prayed some more. And the answer came.
One day, just out of the shower, my scar glared at me in the bathroom mirror. Out of nowhere, there was an instantaneous transformation of my heart and mind. God - this entity that so many question - not only exists but also speaks. He speaks into the depths of our hearts and He speaks most clearly when we have reached the end of our rope. My heart did not fill with fear. Instead, it was bursting with words like love, strength, victory, endurance, perseverance, survival, purpose and even hope! The Man who revealed this to me was nailed to a Cross and His scars stand for all of these things and more.
This was a defining moment in my journey to learning how to live and dream again.
Every physical scar I carry has taught me something - don't do funky things on high walls, don't ride a bicycle down a flight of stairs, don't pretend to be a trapeze artist on the monkey bars. The scar from a zit has never touched my soul - beauty is, after all, only skin deep. This most significant scar, earlier a source of torment, is really something to be proud of. Through my ordeal, I endured, persevered, loved, hoped, sacrificed and braved. I did my best to save my baby even as my own life hung in the balance. Wearing this surgical scar means that I survived the storm. I survive the storm every day. The victory was not as I had hoped but it is a victory nevertheless. This scar has taught me to value life and my many blessings.
What about the scars that we cannot see? Those are the deepest. Here's what I have learned - the only cure for the scars of the heart is love. Allow yourself to love and allow yourself to be loved.
Scars tend to find us and when they do, it's how we regard them that ultimately makes or breaks us. It's a daily struggle to hold on to a positive perception but it always deserves our best shot. I give it my best shot every day. When I fail, I get up and try harder the next day - with a little help from my friends!
Scars are not to be treated with bitterness, contempt, resignation, alcohol, drugs or suicide. Scars are to be treated with respect, pride and best of all, with the love of God. They are lessons learned, a purpose fulfilled, battles survived and a journey well on it's way. And for the tiny scratches on the surface, there's MAC!
About Melissa Domingo
Melissa is an Electrical & Electronics Engineer with a "Diplôme Supérieur" in French, from the Alliance Française, Paris. She is now a stay-at-home mum to two beautiful children. She is creative - a singer/songwriter/worshipper, guitarist, passionate baker and artist.