How do you handle your scars?


Not the physical ones, the mottled yet smooth flesh that speaks of wounds to the body. But the emotional ones. The invisible lesions that cross your heart born from trauma to the soul.


It’s strange, you know, how we wear the marks upon our flesh with pride or at least confirmation of a life lived fully. We speak of battle scars and wounds of adventure. We allow the twisted flesh to speak of our courage or enduring spirit. We share the stories behind the blemishes with only the slightest hint of embarrassment or shame. They are not lashes of judgment; they are simply the spoor of life upon our skin.


It’s strange, not that we share those marks with little thought, but that we hide our emotional wounds so deeply. We speak of them with derision, as though they are separate and shameful. We dismiss them as baggage and belittle those who carry it.


But those wounds formed by the piercing knife of betrayal or the crushing blow of loss also have stories to tell. Those marks from past relationships and failures also are the traces of our pasts. We hide our heart’s scars as though they are shameful. As though the vulnerability that allowed the attack must be kept secret and the signs left behind buried deep within.


I have always loved the images of people who have embraced massive physical scars by painting them with tattoos. The breastless women with colorful murals across their chests. The amputees with often humorous paintings claiming the site where the limb once reigned. The burn patients whose textured skin serves as a unique canvas for tattooed paintings. The surgical scars that are woven into a larger picture, part of the story but not the entire tale.


I am always stunned by the beauty. Even more so than those whose bodies display an airbrushed perfection. These are strong bodies. Bodies that have felt the claws of life and yet still stand proud. Bodies that do not hide their stories, but embrace them and claim them and speak them in their own way.


Tattooed Scar Gallery (warning: some pictures may be NSFW)


Scars are not a sign of weakness.


They show that you are not afraid of life.


Let them be your badge of honor rather than your burden.

Thank you for sharing!

11 thoughts on “Scars

  1. momfawn – Visalia, CA – I am a sixty-something baby-boomer -- daughter, mother, wife (twice), grandmother, aunt, Independent Consultant with Close To My Heart -- retired and celebrating a life thoroughly lived.
    momfawn says:

    Once again, Lisa, you are eloquent and thought-provoking. Thank you. – Fawn

  2. Isn’t it funny, my tatts are shout outs to my soul. I have never added a new one when the wound is inflicted, rather when I can define the healing.

    This was lovely, as always.

  3. Lisa, the timing of this post is spot on, as I am dealing with some of the scars on my heart today, so, thanks for putting into words so beautifully what those of us with scars know to be true and feel in our souls.

      1. I couldn’t agree with you more and proudly describe myself as perfectly flawed and think that scars are beautiful in their own way!

  4. After the hellish experience I had with the deceased mother of my children, teaching my children to recognize behavior and personality patterns to avoid the victimization that too often is the result of failing to do so. My wife was very skilled in her ability to mask her activities and intent. Scars and wounds combine to produce something different in all of us but wearing them is not necessarily something I would care to advocate. It has been sad to see how many terribly flawed individuals they are that much choose to wreck another life though outrageous divorces and hatefulness.

    1. I guess I see a difference between scars and wounds. The latter are still hurting. The former are healed.

      I am so sorry that your kids are having to deal with this.

  5. elizabeth2560 – ABOUT ALMOST SPRING Two and a half years ago my 37 year marriage ended suddenly through no choice of my own. I survived the heartache. I have taken control of my present. I am planning my own destiny, which is moving onwards to a life of purpose and meaning. This is my journey.
    elizabeth2560 says:

    How does one wear the emotional scars?

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