#576 Appreciating all your scars and scratches

My friend Joey got his face ripped off last week.

Yeah, while staring at his cheek in the mirror a few months back he noticed a a small rubbery bump below the surface of his skin. Few months, few phone calls, few appointments later he found himself under the knife in a five-hour surgery getting a chestnut sized tumor slowly untied and airlifted out of a knotty nest of nerves in a high stakes game of Operation.

Thankfully he’s okay and he’s all better and he’s managed to bounce over a pretty bumpy hill in life. We were all pretty nervous but he’s come out clean on the other side.

Plus, now he’s got a crazy scar from his ear down to his neck to show for it.

And sure, over the years the stitches will drop out, hair might grow over, and the lines on his face could slowly fade away. But he’s really got a reminder every day of how lucky he is to be alive. He added some dents and scratches to his life story.

And unless you’re a baby-powder-smelling ball of smooth skin and giggles, I’m betting your flesh and bones is covered with some gashes, scratches, scabs and stains, too.

Maybe it’s that fleshy scar on your hand from the eighth grade fistfight. You were on the bus back from shop class throwing pockets of sawdust around when tempers flared and a couple headlocks later you tripped and hit the ground.

Maybe it’s the ghost of that Giant Zit of ’97 on your forehead. Did you squeeze it too hard before prom and end up with a bad cover-up job? If so, maybe you can still find your old friend in that photo album, wedged tightly between up-dos, wrist corsages, and freshly pressed tuxes.

Maybe it’s a blurry tattoo you got with distant friends you don’t speak to anymore. You were young, you were graduating, you wanted a memento of getting through a tough year together. And you got it.

It’s the zippery line up your groin from the hernia, the tingly bump in your collarbone from the monkey bars, or the big birthmark on your back you’ve hidden under bathing suits for years.

But whatever yours are, wherever yours are, and however you got them, one thing’s for sure: your bumps and scratches are part of your life and part of your story. They’re part of your lows… and part of your glories. Yes, they’re memories of bad decisions and reminders of good ones. And they all come together in a nicely wrapped package that we like to call… you.

See, we’re all a bit bent, we’re all a bit busted, we’re all a bit broken, we’re all bit rusted. Underneath all the crinkly jeans and wrinkly shirts are beautifully personal collections of hairy legs, scratchy scars, and spotty skin.

So take a second to stop today and love all your scabs and patches. Just kiss those moles and rub those bumps and smile at all your scratches.


Psst, take a second to check for lumps today.

Photos from: here, here, and here

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