Wounds or Scars

Suffering makes an instrument of each of us, so that standing naked, holes and all, the unseen vitalities can be heard through our simplified lives.” – Mark Nepo

The other day I shook out the blanket that I keep outside for lying on the grass in summer and my son immediately starting looking for the little farmhouse that we usually play with on it. I am fascinated by how quickly my kids make associations. Blanket = Little People farm. A particular cup = hot cocoa. Boots = puddles. Baths = lotion.

But that observation makes me realize how much I do it as well. Fall comes and I think of hot cider. I turn on Grey’s Anatomy and want a glass of wine. When I write I sit in one chair and when I work I sit in another.

It seems to be a way to winnow down our choices so that we don’t have to make as many decisions. But every once in a while a pattern crops up that reminds me of where I stuck. The other day my daughter was carpooling with friends and they asked if there was a particular car she didn’t like. She said BMW’s. And they asked why and she said it was because her mom didn’t like them.

I had to laugh when my carpooling friend told me this story. My daughter and I had been talking about cars and I’d offhandedly said that I didn’t like them because it seemed like the drivers bought them for image. Which is a very unfair broad generalization that I never thought would be repeated. The fact is, my ex-husband bought one to bolster his image and so I created the association. I’ve been over that relationship for some time so I shouldn’t punish BMW drivers forever.

Meditating on this, so many associations came up for me. Many of them are ones that make me smile – places that I walk that remind me of my beloved dog and phrases when I hear them that bring back my dad.

And one that I wasn’t expecting. I miscarried a baby four years ago. When I heard the news, I went to hike a beautiful trail that overlooks Puget Sound. This trail had been my go-to for any time I needed to think. The wind seems to whip whatever is inside me out into the open and the view puts it into perspective.

As I was thinking about associations, I realized that I’ve never been back to that trail since the day I heard the news about my miscarriage. Obviously I went on to have a beautiful son and so I filed the miscarriage away as old news. It isn’t something that I mourn or think of as painful. It just was. But every time I think of hiking that trail, I think “nah” without ever digging deep for the reason.

Life keeps teaching me I can carry around wounds or scars. If I choose wounds, they drain a lot more energy as they try to heal without ever been unpacked. But if I do the work to clean them out and then heal into scars, they just become part of the patchwork quilt that is me.

All of this introspection is a great reminder to me that I can pass things on based on my loves or my losses. And given how easily they clearly stick for my kids, I think it’s time to heal those wounds before any other misguided association gets repeated!

10 thoughts on “Wounds or Scars

  1. “But if I do the work to clean them out and then heal into scars, they just become part of the patchwork quilt that is me…”

    This is so very wise of you to share. Taking the time to acknowledge, face and clean the wounds means we can move on from them and they just become a part of you.

    Maybe you will hike that trail one day yet! 🙏🤞🏻

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, my friend! Yes, I think hiking that trail would be very healing. I just hadn’t realized that I had that association until I watched my kids form theirs and I dug a little deeper. They teach us so much, don’t they?!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Kids for sure teach us so much. And it is, as you said, so interesting how our minds bury things only to be uncovered and dug up when we least expect them to be!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. You’ve given me something to ponder on. I do ponder a lot sometimes, and this topic about associations in life is one that will probably be a long one. I have a habit of putting pieces of my life in compartments, which can be mind-boggling at times. Have you ever done that?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! And I think the work to make the unconscious conscious is hard because of those compartments. But we all get these great opportunities to ponder, write and share and it makes the work of uncovering more fun! Thanks for taking the time to read…and ponder!!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for sharing!… “Every single thing that has ever happened in your life is preparing you for a moment that is yet to come”. (Author Unknown)… 🙂

    Until we meet again…
    May the sun shine all day long
    Everything go right, nothing go wrong
    May those you love bring love back to you
    And may all the wishes you wish come true
    (Irish Saying)

    Liked by 1 person

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