I know that sounds so very Pollyanna-ish, but how could I not believe when I have been fortunate enough to experience most of those things in my life to date.
With the first of my Scars posts, I hovered over the publish button for hours before I found the courage to send it live.
I knew that I was sharing a side of myself that many did not know existed and because of that I walked around for those first few weeks feeling somewhat naked and exposed and wondering if you thought any less of me than you did before you read my story.
Whilst sharing my scars with you over the past 6 weeks has been one of the most challenging things I have ever done, it has at the same time been more healing than I ever imagined.
I didn't start sharing my story with the intent of healing myself. In fact I once wondered if it were possible to ever heal such a broken thing.
My intention was to share my scars, my physical, emotional and mental scars, in the hope that it might inspire others to break their silence and do so too. Through this act of mutual scar bearing I hoped that perhaps we could relieve the pressure of carrying our burdens and collectively encourage each other to lighten our loads.
I did not expect the emotional roller coaster I would embark on. Without a doubt, the process of digging up some long buried memories and sharing others which I have never ever shared before, has been one hell of a ride.
I have allowed my pain and insecurities to rise to the surface and by talking about them I have released them and laid to rest so much heartache.
I have come face to face with and extinguished an anger I did not even realise existed within me. I have also celebrated victoriously when I realised that the painful memories I have spent so many years trying to bury no longer hold any power over me.
You see the the thing about scars, both the emotional and physical kind, is that we believe they have the power to rob us of our confidence. WE give them that power. WE are the ones that naively hand it over.
Most of us tend to slap superficial band aids over the top of our wounds and just get on with it.. with life that is. We figure if we cannot see the damage that exists beneath, then it will no longer hurt.
The problem is that by covering up those wounds we do not allow them to heal. They fester, they scar and they infect us with insecurities and a belief that we are less than what we were to start with.
Less than perfect.
In a world that seems to idealise perfection, is it no wonder we continue to hide those scars from each other?
There is no denying it - sometimes life sucks. But through the ups and downs there are lesson to be learned and I have learnt many... it just took me a while to see them.
Like the tough kid hiding on the corner of your street, life sometimes pelts us with rocks and by God those rocks can hurt. Sometimes shit happens and the severity of that shit is enough to break the spirit of even the strongest of souls and force you to question everything you have ever believed in.
I have learnt it is OK to question those things, because sometimes we forget why it is we were holding onto a thought or a belief in the first place.
I have learnt that there may be times that we can do nothing more than watch our carefully constructed hopes and dreams go up in smoke. But the wonderful thing about hopes and dreams is that they are not tangible losses like belongings in a house fire. We can change or reinvent them if ever they are damaged and we can create new ones whenever we want to.
I have learnt that sometimes dreams are destroyed for a reason. Perhaps that dream wasn't part of your destiny and hanging on to it wasn't allowing new ones, the right ones, to emerge.
I have learnt it is OK to let dreams go when they are no longer what we really want or need.
I have learnt for certain that silver linings most definitely exist. My broken legs and my broken spirit exposed the most breathtaking lining of all - the chance to rebuild a stronger more resilient version of me.
My accidents gifted my family and I the knowledge and understanding that when we stand alone as one we are vulnerable. When we stand together we are impermeable. They taught us that love conquers all.
Whilst I was kicking the dirt at rock bottom I learnt that I was more scared of falling than I was of being at rock bottom itself. Hitting rock bottom proved to me that one can fall and then one can get up again. Within every single one of us exists a Phoenix resilient enough to rise from the ashes.
I have learnt that for every awful moment in life, exists a beautiful one waiting to soothe the sting. That is the way of the universe, the yin and yang, the natural balance of power. Without the trials and without knowing how it feels to hurt, how can you truly appreciate the good things and appreciate how wonderful life actually is?
I have learnt that there are no winners when one concedes defeat. There really is no choice but to fight.
I have learnt that despite some hiccups, I am possibly one of the most blessed and luckiest woman on earth.
All week I have tried to find the words to tie this story up into a neat ending, like you get when you read a novel or when a TV series comes to an end. Except I can't tie it up into a nice neat ending just yet and it is only sitting here right now in this very moment that I realise why that is such a good thing.
I have realised that as long as I live and breath - my story continues and there is no ending to speak of. And so with that knowledge and a heart filled with new dreams and fresh hope, I will continue to add chapters to the story that is my life.
No doubt within those pages will be moments of heartache and pain. But that's OK because that is life in all it's awesome glory and I know that for every one of those moments - there will be many silver linings, shooting stars and exhilarating fist pumping moments of joy waiting to take their place.
Every tale we continue to tell, every chapter we begin and end and begin again, are a gift within themselves.
I believe in white knights, shooting stars and silver linings, I believe in magic and miracles, villains and victims, guardian angels and happy endings.
It's just that this is not where it ends for me.
I'm nowhere near ready for my happy ending yet. I have many more chapters to fill.
*** I just want to take this opportunity to thank you all so very very much for the open way in which you received my story. May everyone who wears a scar discover for themselves the relief that comes with sharing that scar with friends ***
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