Some of us have physical scars, but we probably all have emotional scars. I think it’s natural not to want scars to show, at least not to everyone. Having lost 155 pounds in a pretty short amount of time, I had to have a few surgeries afterward to remove excess skin that would not tighten up on its own. I spent years afterward wearing clothes that would cover my scars.

They felt so ugly to me and were a reminder of having spent the majority of my years battling “the diet life.” I was not trying to keep them a secret, but I did not want to show them either. Only recently, after being truly loved more than once despite my scars, have I started to grow comfortable with them. I have started to wear clothes that do not cover them and I am getting used to it.

I have been baring my emotional scars little by little through my writing. In both cases, physical and emotional, I can honestly say the more I let them ‘hang out’ the less they affect me. I am slowly letting go of the self-consciousness. It happens only by shedding light on that which makes us uncomfortable. It is not easy, but when you shed light on something painful, it loses its power.

I thought my scars to be something that made me less pretty, perfectionist that I am. Then I met my husband, and someone since, who loved and still love me completely no matter how many scars I have or what they look like, and I realized, if someone I admire so much can love me with my scars, I should be able to love myself. No one is perfect anyway. If you also suffer from the desire to be perfect, reflect on the Leonard Cohen lyric, “There is a crack, a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.” For every imperfection you see in the mirror, consider how it could actually be part of what makes you more, not less.

What are your scars? Do they bother you? Do you shy away from them, cover them, or bring them out in the light of day? If you have kept them in the dark, think about talking to someone about them, just one person to start, and see if it makes you feel any different. We are all heavily layered, but as we peel back the layers, our hearts grow lighter and what previously fueled our insecurity can instead empower our souls.

Bringing scars to the light,

Nikola Rosa