I have a friend who has a scar on their face. It’s small and not very noticeable, yet she feels very self conscious about it at times. She thinks people see it first before they know who she truly is inside and as a result make judgements or assumptions. I’m sure there are people who do just that. Just as I am sure that some people never even notice the scar as they take the time to get the know the person. Our faces put us into stereotypes, age groups, ethnic biases and reveal a bit about us whether we like it or not. Wise people, the ones who have their own self awareness and value being known for their talents or skills instead of their appearance, they make the investment to know people instead of judging first. Scar or no scar, we all have a story to tell AND stories to learn from others as we get to know them better.
As I got to know my friend better, she told me how she got that scar. It is an awful story, one she doesn’t tell often. Once I knew the backstory I saw her as more beautiful and more courageous. The scar reminds me each time I see her smile that she is a survivor, a fighter, someone who will endure beyond her circumstances. Her scar reminds me that if we choose to rise above nothing can stop our progress and happiness.
In a culture that worships beauty and youth, it is refreshing to hear Brandi Carlisle’s lyrics on the radio, reminding us that our faces tell our story. Each line, freckle and curve communicate about our adventures and heartaches. When we think about it that way, our faces truly are the best way to know us. They hide the truth, emit our emotions and reveal who we are inside. Being open and honest about ourselves begins with a good look in the mirror. Not to see the faults or things that need fixing, that good look is for us to see within our own soul so WE can be reminded of what we have endured. Life is a blessing, a journey, an adventure, it can even bring days of joy and pain without warning. Whether we like it or not our face does tell our story, what we have to decide is how WE want to live that story out each and every day.