I was half-listening to the ten o’clock news in order to determine whether this weekend would be 25 degrees or 75 degrees, when I heard a female voice come on to announce the next story: How To Erase Mistakes of the Past.
This particular local newscast is known for its sensationalism, so I half expected some wacky story about new memory erasing technology.
But no. It was (another) story about plastic surgery treatments.
Apparently, scars are now called mistakes of the past.
These mistakes of the past, should you have a little spare time and a lot of spare change, can be miraculously lasered off of your body so you’re, “good as new.”
Hmm, does this appeal to people, I wondered.
I’m no Heidi Klum. I never have been. I have been slimmer. Less scarred. Less wrinkled. Less Gray.
But I’m not so sure I’m ready to trade all that in.
And I certainly don’t think of my scars as “mistakes of the past.”
I look at these two tiny scars on either side of my abdomen where a less invasive procedure found something bigger. Then there’s the bigger scar from the doctor cutting a tumor out of my uterus (not to mention those internal scars I can’t see). Then my absolute favorite scar runs even longer and allowed the doctors to pull three babies out of my belly.
I have burn scars on my hands from cooking with my mother and my children. I have a chipped tooth from one too many aggressive catapulting children coming toward me with open arms (and head). I have a ripped earlobe from a baby pulling out an earring. I have a permanent bump on my toe from wearing high heels to a great job for 15 years.
I could keep going. Varicose veins I inherited from my grandmothers, cellulite on my thighs from birthday cupcakes, and wrinkles in my forehead from big smiles and deep worries.
These aren’t mistakes. These are life. These are representations of some of my most profound memories. I don’t want to erase them.
And the truth of the matter is, some of those “mistakes of the past” that aren’t reflected on my skin but in my soul, I don’t want to erase them either. They made me who I am. Brought me to where I am. Taught me whose I am. I know empathy instead of judgment because of those mistakes. I know forgiveness instead of bitterness because of those mistakes. I know love despite the loss because of those mistakes.
So I will politely decline any technology that seeks to erase reminders of the life I have lead and instead offer a prayer of thanks and a box of Band-Aids for the life I still have left to live.
Kristin Hill Taylor says
Oh, Gindi. I LOVE THIS. So real and true.
Thank you Kristin – maybe if all stop trying to erase what makes us us, people will stop asking us to try….
Oh, I love this! I have a few of those scars, too, namely that big one that runs from my right wrist to my shoulder–deep second and third degree burns I sustained when our home burned two years ago. I won’t erase that scar because it continues to teach me daily where my strength comes from. I look at the scar; then I look to the hills, from when cometh my strength.
Oh yes Olivia!!! Not to mention what a testimony it will be for others who ask and you can share how you made it through…
Your writing is always so beautiful and uplifting. This one is one of my favorites. What a fabulous message. One we need to teach our children…and ourselves. My sweet 5 year old sustained 2nd and 3rd degree burns when she fell in a campfire last year. When people ask about it, they always want to know if she will be scarred. I was worried about that too – no one wants their child to feel different or be ostracized for a physical attribute. But my overwhelming thought then and 8 months later is gratefulness that she not only survived, but that she triumphed. She learned how strong and brave she could be and I think it gave her confidence beyond her years. Thank you for this post. And thank you for your hard work to bring such wonderful lessons to your readers.
Oh I remember when this happened Cheryl – and yes to look at that and be so thankful for the healing! She will be SO strong!
This brought tears to my eyes, friend…especially when you mentioned the scar where your babies came out. I have that scar, too, and I see it as a badge of honor…the privilege of being a mama. (Plus, it makes it easy to tell Mae how she came out of my belly!) 😉 Truly beautiful words today.
I know Mel – that is my absolute favorite scar!
Well put, my friend, well put!! Standing and clapping wildly for you…for this.
Thank you friend – so proud to have you on my side.
I am fist-pumping and hootin’ out loud. This is extraordinary!!!
Love that you shared this. I am my memories….
Peace and good to you,
Yes sweet brave friend – we are all of those bits and pieces and grateful for it.
Elizabeth Anne says
I’m with Alecia… Standing ovation! BRAVO. Isn’t it proverbs 31 that says “charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting but a woman who fears The Lord is to be praised?” You are that woman.
Oh thank you Elizabeth – so proud to stand alongside you in the journey to 31!
Christine Wright says
Oh, friend, this is pure beauty …in words.
Thank you dear sister…
Cathy Baker says
Beautiful. Thanks for sharing this. Especially timely as I’m turning 40 in a couple of weeks and, well, been pondering some of these same things. 😉
Ah yes Cathy – somehow 40 made the scars more appreciated, the journey through the fire…
Jenn Hand says
Wow.. I so so love this post. Beautifully said and beautiful words!
Thank you Jenn!