This I Believe

Christina - Greenville, North Carolina
Entered on October 2, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: setbacks

I believe the scars one experiences in life build character. For most people, from our very first steps, we experience scrapes and cuts while struggling to develop as human beings. As we develop we experience scars through physical pain, emotionally as well as cognitively. I feel fortunate to have had no severe scarring that a great deal of our society struggle with every day. I have had what I like to think of as a very stable life. I enjoy the love of a close-knit family, share great experiences with friends, and am proud of the decisions I am responsible for. However, I have been imprinted physically with the permanent disfigurement of falling off a bike, stepping on glass or scratching a chicken pock. When looking in the mirror these marks do not make me remember the pain of the experience. Rather, I recollect the memory of being picked up and told to try again, my hand being held while getting stitches or having my mother apply ointments. I then feel thankful for these scars that remind me I am not alone with each struggle I endure.

I believe one’s heart can hold the most extreme scars life forces us to feel. In times of pain I believe it would be easier for most to not have the ability to feel at all. For myself this is simply not possible. I have felt the severe emptiness of loosing very special people, felt the ache of a broken heart, been betrayed by a friend and have been misled by the assumption that my life is unfair. As any wound needs time to heal I have learned this holds true for my heart. Although you cannot bandage nor stitch it you are only left with the hope that time, people and experience will aid it back to health. This is not an easy concept to accept especially in times of despair. Similarly, these lows have taught me that even though people pass away the memories you are left with should not be looked at entirely with sadness but rather thankfulness that they have touched your life in such a way.

As time goes by I have realized that any situation that has left me with the feeling of pain has made me thankful of the struggles I have overcome. They have not only made me stronger, but also made me appreciate the people that came to my rescue. I believe one takes the easy path by building up a shield and not allowing one’s self to fully engage in new experiences. These experiences make you who you are and though not effortless should be embraced with open arms. I cannot speak for all. I have never endured the loss of a child, been terminally ill, abused, mentally disabled nor any other situation to that severity. I can only speak of my experiences, struggles, teachings and beliefs in the 21 years I have lived. I am aware that I have much more to learn, live and feel. I can only hold on to the belief that the scars I face in the future will keep building my character and aid me in becoming the person I long to be. As for now I am going to strive to live without regrets, love without fear and struggle with the belief that all things happen for a much greater reason.