Just closed out my first week staying with family in the Bay Area while I look for a new place to call home. If you watched my stories (week highlights are up), I went back and forth to Malibu, explored San Fran (people hate that here so I gotta say it), and took full advantage of Stanford’s accommodations whether they’ll have me or not. But amongst all that noise, my most profound moment came late on Friday night, sitting in bed reading old medical books I dusted off the shelves in the guest bedroom.
Wild night, I know.
So wild, that I found myself leafing through diagrams of human anatomy and reading about the mechanisms our body uses for healing. I came across a section about scar tissue formation and paused to read its description. Scar tissue develops after a wound has been inflicted (nothing new there) but in addition to healing the wound, the new tissue is stronger and denser in order to protect against future injury. In the case of keloid scarring, our body sends an excess of scar tissue, unable to determine when to stop, and an unsightly raised keloid forms on the skin.
I thought about my own scars. Many of which I spent years hiding, including the one on my neck from parathyroid surgery, a set of two on my stomach from abdominal hernia surgery, and almost a dozen (no exaggeration) on my hands and knees from my graceful childhood. Several of which, are keloids.
But why does our body make an area stronger after the injury has already been inflicted? The assault is in the past. The threat is over. I don’t plan on having any more parathyroids removed or climbing any more fences the way I did as a kid.
I think the same can be said for our internal wound healing. We all have scars from past experiences that, at the time, needed healing. That wound had to close in order to protect us from the current circumstances. That was then though, this is now. We don’t need to keep sending scar tissue to the site to avoid future assaults. That just builds excessive walls, keeping us hiding, stuck in shame.
Honor those wounds, they are a map of where you’ve been. But don’t let them dictate where you’re going. You’re in charge of the adventure now.
Life by Design was born out of a need for my own self-healing after decades of unresolved illness. It wasn’t until finding the courage to look within that I discovered it was my own belief system holding me back from experiencing a truly thriving life. We all have access to that thriving life. We just need to rediscover our power and ignite the healing-self. Only then can we unapologetically live a life by our own design.