I considered doing a Halloween post, but this has been on my mind for a while, so I chose to do this one instead. I think it’s more important. So here we go:
A couple of weeks ago, I was opening a blade similar to an X-ACTO knife. The cap got stuck, and when I pulled it off, it sliced my finger open. The cut itself was only about an inch long, but it was deep. I was honestly worried that I would have to get stitches because it was that deep.
Nevertheless, I decided to take care of it myself. I cleaned it as best as I could, put some Neosporin on it, and kept it bandaged. I took care of it and let it heal on its own. And let me tell you something: the body is kind of amazing. There’s a faint scar on my finger, but what might have needed stitches healed on its own with a barely detectable trace. That’s so crazy!! The fact that my body was like, “Ow. This isn’t supposed to happen. It’s not supposed to be exposed. Hold up, it’ll get fixed.” And it did. If you din’t know where to look, I don’t think you could see it on my hand.
This is true with life too. I’ve seen a quote that says, “To heal a wound, you need to stop touching it.” When you get hurt physically or emotionally, you have two options. You can either let it fester by messing with it and never let it heal, or you can leave it alone. If someone wronged you and you keep bringing it up, that relationship is always going to be wounded. I have seen a lot of things that are like, “Don’t keep score in a (romantic) relationship.” But I think that holds true to platonic friendships as well. If someone hurts you, don’t continually throw that back in their face.
Forgiveness is like a Band-Aid. It’s not some magic that automatically heals a broken relationship. But what it does is kind of smooth over the injured area so that time and patience can heal the wound in the relationship. It takes a lot for my temper to show itself, but when it does, it’s not pretty. And yes, I’ve unleashed it on people. But I’ve found that I have stronger friendships if I am allowed to apologize (if I’m in the wrong) and am forgiven. You may have heard the phrase, “Time heals all wounds.” I don’t think that’s entirely true. There are still ways that I’ve been hurt that I don’t know if I’ll ever be “healed” from. But if I dwell on them, then it’s like the cut on my finger. If I had not kept it protected and covered, it would have been a rough scab that would have kept reopening. The scar would probably be a lot deeper and a lot bigger. But like with my finger, if I leave the “wounds” alone, then they will do a better job of healing. They might leave scars on my heart, and I may still cry as I talk about them, but that will be the better of the two options.
Holding grudges is very similar to this. But that one affects you more than the other person. If I upset someone unknowingly (and it does happen), then I always want to make sure I know what I did wrong so I can apologize because I genuinely may not have realized I upset them. I do this for two reasons: 1. I REALLY don’t like people mad at me, and 2. I don’t want them to hold a grudge, not just against me, but against anyone. One of my favorite quotes is actually by Buddha and it says, “Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” I think that really sums it up. You want to destroy the person who wronged you, but you only end up destroying yourself.
It would be naive and foolish of me to think that there are limited people with scars on their hearts. I think everyone has at least one painful one. So if you’re dealing with it: let it go. Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Wow, thanks Kim. I never would have thought of that” *(please note the heavy sarcasm). But hear me out: let it go. Let it hurt you. Cry over it, apologize, let someone know they’ve wronged you, whatever it takes. But then, don’t let it define you. If you dwell on your scars, then you will never know how beautiful you are. So take a deep breath, hold your head up, and know that scars are just a color used in the portrait of you. It’s not the whole picture. And you know what? A month, a year, ten years down the road, you may find that that scar doesn’t hurt like it used to. It’s still there, but it doesn’t affect you because you’ve healed.