The Sword or The Scar

Do you like to read? I love to read. I adore reading. My daughter says I’m a bit of a reading weirdo. I’ve been called worse by better. I just finished reading Paulo Coelho’s book, “Manuscript Found in Accra”. A book I loved to read. A book I’m going to love more when I read it again. A book that gave me so many defining moments of clarity I’ve got blog post ideas oozing out of my left ear. So let’s start with this one.

I’ve heard the phrase before, “It’s the wounds you don’t see that run deepest” and this is so true. I’ve not thought about it until recently in terms of what really causes the wound and the scar that lets us know the wound even exists. It can be physical – heck I’ve got several doozies that provide anecdotal amusement amongst mixed company. Those are the ones I talk about. Those are the ones that are easiest to let people see. Then there are the ones we don’t talk about without several glasses of wine and the confidence of the company that it goes no further.

Those wounds don’t have to be news worthy. They don’t have to be life shattering. But they are usually made up of the things we don’t like to admit hurt us in the first place. I personally hate giving the bearer of the sword any more time in my life than it took to make the wound anyway. Why should they continue to lay claim in my life? But they do. The scar they left behind is testament to that. For me, admitting someone got to me. Admitting they actually were able to hurt me – that’s a wound I don’t like to open. That scar can stay intact.

Paulo Coelho’s point is that we need to consider the power of the sword whether we have the scar or we create it. That swords come in all shapes and sizes. That dagger in a withering glance given dripping with disdain as your daughter displays her brand new outfit she so carefully crafted but makes your fashion sense scream. That casual remark about someone’s art that was meant to be inspiring but cuts to the quick like a surgeons knife, to all the insecurities the artist uses to create in the first place. The debate that began with friendly banter but quickly turns vicious with the quick silver thrust of the rapier comment bringing your opponent to their knees.

My point? We never know in what form the sword is going to come. We are never sure if we are wielding it or running from it. We can never really know how deep our scars run nor how many scars we’ve laid to the flesh of others. What does this teach me? To be patient. To remember that my view is not the only view. That there are many ways to see things. That being kind never left a mark someone had to heal from. In fact it might help in healing a hurt we didn’t even know was there.  That sometimes it’s better to lay the sword down before the would is even created or to forgive those who picked up the sword in the first place, including ourselves.

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