Life’s Tattoos: How Do You Respond to Your Scars?

2010, Car Accident

The doctors literally sliced a piece of my thigh to create a skin graft as well as made a good steak cut to grab some excess thigh muscle – all part of the reconstructive hand process I later learned.

Scars every day, all day. Morning. Afternoon. Night. It’s bittersweet.

I don’t notice them as much anymore. It’s only when I see others notice them that I’m like, “Oh yeah, my scars.” Eyes dart jet speed at my legs. I don’t totally blame them because heck, I’m guilty of doing the same whenever I see a distinct marking of some sort on someone else’s body. It is human instinct for your attention to immediately go to what’s “different” or what “stands out.” This is understandable.

But when people stare for a good 15-20 seconds, whispering remarks, pointing, even doing the whole looking back and forth trying to be “nonchalant” about it, I can’t help but try to hide these scars by draping something over them like my purse or the end tail of my sweater.

I get a rush of mixed emotions – anxiety, anger, frustration, embarrassment – overthinking in my head of all my flaws and imperfections. I tell myself, “How am I ever going to get through this? I better get these scars removed somehow.”

What makes it worse is the way I scar. Asian skin is unfortunately known to scar pretty drastically. I’m a huge keloid maker, which means I scar bumpy fat lines rather than fainted clean lines.

However, the “sweet” part of it that I like to remind myself of is the fact that people will wonder if or even surely come to the conclusion that I’ve been through some serious shit. That maybe I am one cool badass who overcame some brutal battle.

I mean, in a way, I did.

I’ve had a few strangers immediately ask what happened. Rude. I’d tell the short version of the truth with vague details. But man oh man would I always imagine plenty of crazy fun responses: “Yeah, I fought a bear who tried to eat me while camping.” Or “I was jumped and attacked by a big muscular man who had a knife, but I ended up stabbing him to death.” And then giving them a smirk that says, “Don’t mess with me.”

But the main message I want to convey is this… my scars and the people staring are reminders for myself that I have SURVIVED. I am HERE. I am LIVING.

They’re called Life’s Tattoos

Scars are “Life’s Tattoo’s” – indeed a person’s battle wounds against life’s nasty bad tempered side. It’s okay though – they are delicate reminders of why life is honestly precious and utterly beautiful.

And with that said, love and embrace all your flaws and falls for I believe this way of thinking will ultimately contribute to your power, strength, and growth as a unique individual.

Life's Tattoos: How do you respond to your scars? - Living After Surviving

The more and more you love and embrace your scars – accepting all of yourself in general – the more you will believe: AUTHENTICITY BEATS PERFECTION EVERY SINGLE TIME!

It sounds easier said than done, I agree. Believe me, I still struggle to embrace my scars. Especially when I am standing next to women my age or younger who have nothing but smooth radiant skin.

But you just need to ask yourself this, “What does authenticity mean to me?”

My answer? Me. I’ve never felt more me – the true raw unfiltered me – whenever I think of this question. These scars are who I am NOW. A part of my character. A part of my story. Scars are meant to stay, so why hide them?

This allows myself to be me and being myself is the most freeing feeling in the world. I mean, what’s so interesting and memorable about being or pretending to be “normal” anyway?

Because at the end of the day, living authentically is valued much more than living perfectly. It’s heroic.

So the next time I see gawking eyes on my leg scars, I’ll swap it away as if an irritating gnat just flew by.

This is being scarred for LIVING.

xo, CHU

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