Tuesday

Let Our Scars Fall In Love

Photo Courtesy of Catherine Pain

“We’re all seeking that special person who is right for us. But if you’ve been through enough relationships, you begin to suspect there’s no right person, just different flavors of wrong. Why is this? Because you yourself are wrong in some way, and you seek out partners who are wrong in some complementary way. But it takes a lot of living to grow fully into your own wrongness. And it isn’t until you finally run up against your deepest demons, your unsolvable problems—the ones that make you truly who you are—that we’re ready to find a lifelong mate. Only then do you finally know what you’re looking for. You’re looking for the wrong person. But not just any wrong person: the right wrong person—someone you lovingly gaze upon and think, “This is the problem I want to have. I will find that special person who is wrong for me in just the right way. Let our scars fall in love.” Galway Kinnell

I used to think that I had to wait until I had it all together before I would be ready to settle down and entertain the idea of getting married. A dear male [married] friend of mine told me in a conversation once, “to purposefully not be all the way together and to not let this hinder me from exploring mature love with someone.” I was totally perplexed at the thought of purposefully leaving some things undone to be worked out until after I met my Mr. Bliss. He explained a bit further, saying, “I should leave some room to get assistance and input from my other whole.” He assured me that I didn’t need to be perfect and that it is meant for my mate to help me along on my life journey. The thought at first terrified me. Like the image illustrates, I felt like if I let anyone truly in, he would see my scars, war wounds, bullet holes, everything, and this would as a result make me less desirable to him. However, the more I’ve dated and the closer I get to crossing paths with my Mr. Bliss, I realize when I’m not truly who I am, scars and all, I do myself and the other person a disservice as a result. I realize my scars are an intricate part of me and they’ve helped mold me into the person I am now, even though they aren’t who I am totally. They are however a part of my story and my Mr. Bliss needs the whole story. Not just the glamorous, shiny parts, but the ugly ones too, so he can identify where he fits and how he can add to and enhance my story. If not, he’ll feel isolated and helpless as a result.

I’ve learned it’s important to let the people we love and who want to love us in return have the opportunity to see us undone. Who are we kidding? We all have been through hell and back, sometimes willingly, others have been pulled by their hair, kicking and screaming, what remains are the scars that help tell our stories. Believe it or not, beauty can be found in our scars and when a man or woman loves you, it’s often the scars that reveal your inner workings and gives them more reason to want to love you the way you deserve to be loved. When I read this quote, particularly the last line, “let our scars fall in love,” it had sort of a soothing effect on me and gave me a refreshing of peace. I said to myself, “yes!” Someone else gets it and I don’t have to attempt to be perfect in order to be loved perfectly and completely. We no longer need to seek to be perfect or give off the fa├žade of perfection as it only leads to resentment, deceit and possible unhappiness for you or the person you’ve managed to temporarily fool. We can relax and be less paranoid about the other person “finding us out,” when we willingly open up (after qualifying they belong in our personal space) and let them in. Being open and transparent about the scars we have and what caused them, will afford us the opportunity to compare notes and see that this is another source of healing, another way we can bound, fall in love and remain there. We don’t fall in love with people based off of ideals, theory or surface perfection; we fall in love with their character, their hearts and the things that make up who they really are at the core. Our scars are a part of us and have added to our character and have helped to shape the things that are lovable about us.

Showing your scars however, doesn't mean you use your past hurt and pain to continue the cycle of hurting people. It doesn't mean you operate as a nut job and go around seeking sympathy based off of what you’ve been through or that you entrust all of yourself to people who haven’t qualified to be in that territory. What it means, is you’ve taken the time and necessary measures to deal with those war wounds of life; failed relationships, heartbreak, abuse, and everything else life has thrown at you that you’ve managed to heal from. Scars only form after the wound has been treated and is healing or has already healed up. A scar will not form if the wound is still open. So, knowing we’ve all been wounded and every person we will ever encounter in our lives, romantic or otherwise has also been wounded at some point, this should cause us to treat each other with more care and kindness. We deserve to have someone fall in love with who we are, not who we pretend to be. Beauty can be birthed out of ruin. Love is beautiful and covers the scars with the beauty it reflects.

None of us is perfect, so looking for perfection in others only sets us up to be chronically disappointed (trust me I know!). We should be seeking to find the opportunity to discover and fall in love with the scars of others. This is healthy and while I might of used different words to illustrate the point of “the right kind of wrong.” Ultimately we have to allow room for the person who wants to love us to make the decision (a now informed one) to love us past our scars of healed pain and vice versa. This is a very good thing by the way. He or she will be fulfilling one of their purposes in our lives and we will reap the benefits as well. It is a win/win.