“One does not see anything until one sees its beauty.” Oscar Wilde
We often see firsthand the benefits of bringing a new set of eyes into a problem. It allows us to look at situations or challenges from a fresh perspective that perhaps we hadn’t yet considered. It occurred to me over the weekend that sometimes we need to invite these new eyes into the limiting beliefs we have in our own lives, too.
Last Saturday we enjoyed a lazy morning together as a family. After a late breakfast (with 3 young kids, 830 is now considered late!) and a stroll around the neighborhood, I showered and got ready for the disappearing day.
My four-year-old, Jack, sat on a stool near the bathroom sink watching me shave. He asked important questions like: “why don’t I need to do that, Daddy?” and “why don’t baseball players wear shorts?” Then he said, “Daddy, your skin is so ridgey, bumpy and red.” He paused for a few seconds, tracing one of the scars with his index finger, and added, “but I really like it.”
He “really likes it”?!!!
It took me 20 years to see any beauty in the scars that cover 87% of my body. Even today, when I am honest about it, there are moments when I have a very difficult time seeing good in them. There are times when I host the pity parties (no one ever comes by the way!), when I wish they weren’t there, when I feel less-than-perfect.
Into that mess and into those negative voices steps an innocent, blinded to prejudice, open to real beauty, little boy who sees the scars – not for the marks of imperfection so many may see in them – but for the badge of beauty and courage which they are.
My friends, the unavoidable consequence of life is that we all get burned; we all have scars. Some appear physically; most appear internally – and are much more painful. They emerge after difficult experiences at work, challenges in health, being burned in relationships, being disappointed by our children, or being mistreated during our own childhood. The wounds open, the scars appear, and we rarely acknowledge their existence, except for a few passing, painful moments.
Today, in your life, where do you need some four-year-old to step in with you and remind you what really matters? Where do you need a new set of eyes to turn your negative experiences into a positive opportunity for a bigger, better life? Here’s the real question: what are your scars?
Consider reflecting on the scarring experiences from your story. Consider owning what took place, learning from it, and being a better, more compassionate person because of it. Consider the fact that the scars only exist today because the wounds have healed. When you embrace that, you’ll be able to look in your mirror with new eyes, acknowledging those scars, saying, “they are ridgey, bumpy and red……but I really like them!”