December 20, 2013

My Scarlet Letter

Growing up in a glass house, I cleverly hid a lot! I knew what I could not be and created a version of me that fit what I should. My scarlet A was a PK and not a sign of shame, but of Godly status setting me apart. I was suppose to be different.

Yet, I have my own Footloose stories locked away still.
I am no different than the majority really. Most of us hide our scars.

We feel imperfect as we try to live up to the societal expectations of beauty, emotional, life ideals of perfection.

I can't admit to others that I am depressed or that my kid cuts himself or that I am lonely in my marriage. I can't let others know that I am divorced or that I really don't enjoy running the church program. I can't say no because they will think bad of me.

We talk ourselves into negatives.

I'll never have enough money. I'll never be skinny enough. I'll never be like her.

Until one day the inadequacies of imperfections fester long enough that they explode.

TMI! TMI! others exclaim while running to hide from crazy you.

And sometimes they can't handle you anymore and they leave.

Taking your need to be loved unconditionally and shattering it more.

I was a perfect 36-26-36 several years ago and decided to post a picture of myself on Facebook in my bikini. Now at this time in my life I was going through a divorce where most of the people that were suppose to love me for me was throwing blame on me. Telling me I was not good enough, I needed to do this or that...I should have....the list of others faults thrown at me tore my hurting heart to shreds.

Only a few people who claimed to love me unconditionally embraced me.

So in desperation I did something I would have been embarrassed to ever do and posted that picture. I needed affirmation even if it was physical and fitted societal expectations of beauty.

The temporary feel good high lasted a few days, until I saw some of my best friends de-friending me without saying one word because I know longer fit their expectations. Somehow I had crossed a boundary in our relationship that I never knew existed. That still hurts me to this day.

I am still casting off the masks of who I was to become who I am meant to be.

Finding beauty in my own scars.

Like many mothers across my lower abdomen I bare the scars of pregnancy. I must admit I hated the site of my railroad tracks stretch marks until one day a friend turned the ugly into beautiful when she said, "My stretch marks are love tattoos. A symbol of the gift of my girls. A reminder of how amazing our bodies are."

There is a spiritual holiness in finding the courage to be you that I believe makes you the most beautiful.

See these scars we all have, they are not ugly. They are not things we should be afraid to share.

They are what makes you uniquely you. A perfect being in His own image.

I confess I still struggle. I occasionally place too much weight on what other's think of me. I never want to hurt anyone, but I am learning to no longer let others define me.

I am letting go of the belief that what I do has to be good enough for someone else. That my actions have to fit into a mold. That there is something wrong about sharing my hurts or imperfections with others. That I am less than someone else because of my beliefs.

That my scars have marked me unworthy, unlovable, dirty because others make me feel that way.

In reality we are all the same. Some of us are just more honest about it all. And often, the less honest are the ones who judge the most.

Wherever you are today, know that I think you are wonderful and beautiful and worthy. Embrace your scars not as imperfections, but as a part of what you had to endure to get to where you are. They are a beautiful part of your story. Don't be afraid to share them.

1 comment:

Kaylan said...

beautiful writing, Sarah. So glad you are willing to be honest, open, and to share. I agree that those who hide are those who are often most judgmental.