They snake down in long rivulets. Or boldly cut straight across. They are long. They are short. Diagonal. Straight. Curved. Single. Multiple. They stand out from their surroundings. Stating the obvious: “Here I am. Here we are”, they say, to the outside world. “Can’t you just look at me? Can you help not looking at me?”

They laugh and sneer when people stare. People who are unable to look away, yet unable to bear the stories that a single line tells them. Sometimes the lines don’t tell the story. They prompt questions. Compelling questions. And that creates a battle in the onlooker’s mind. Gasp! They think. Can I ask that question? May I ask that question? Will I hurt, anger, offend? Do I dare disturb the universe. *

Your visible scars smile. A wicked smile. They know the inner battles going on in front of them. They wickedly lure and beckon the questions; like mystical water nymphs, they are visible but just barely out of reach.

Your scars shout. Scream. Assert themselves. But you? You shy away. Cover. Cover up. Pull that hem down longer. Veil them. Hide them. Keep them away from that inquiring public gaze.

Why?

Scars tell stories. Long stories. Short stories. Painful stories.

Your scars are your badges of honour. They tell stories. They tell stories long and short. Sometimes funny, but more often painful. When they are raw the pain is raw. And every time you look at your scars they are there – making you relive the pain again and again.

They are reminders of your stories Your tales. Your epics. Your morals. Your teachings. Your learning. With them come the outpourings of your experience. Your blood, sweat and tears. And the fact that even the healed scars are still raw sometimes. And sometimes they bleed. And they hurt. And they open up again – with the pain anew.

Is that why you hide them? Not from the others. But from yourself. Brush them under the carpet? Erase from memory? So that no one asks about them and you don’t have to tell?

Isn’t it time you confront your scars? Dress up your scars. Wear them like badges of honour. Display them like a loaded certification of an experience that grew you. A painful memory of what made you what you are today. It is your signature. Your uniqueness. Your individuality. Wear it with pride. Your visible scar is all that and more.

As for the invisible scars. We can talk about that later.

*The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T. S. Eliot