What I know about scars is this: God said that we can heal, however, He did not promise that we would not have scars. Generally, the deeper the injury, the worse the scar. When we have a physical injury, first the blood clots to stop the bleeding, then cells come to remove the clot and replace with proteins that help to rebuild the skin. Or something like that. And, depending on where the injury was and how bad the scar was (in color, shape, thickness, location, etc.), we may not be able to function normally.
What are we supposed to do about physical scars if we want to minimize their appearance? Well, depending on the type and location of scar, you may want to lighten it if it’s much darker than you prefer, you can massage it to break down the scar tissue so it won’t be thick, or keloidal, and if it’s in an area that affects your function, you can still try to massage it, or you may consider surgical removal. Or, you can just use makeup and cover it up.
Now, let’s apply this to scars of the heart, or heart scars. Heart scars indicate that you have been through emotional pain and have changed because of it. They can be either good or bad depending on your outcome. So, let’s say that you’ve been really hurt—downright heartbroken. And your heart is bleeding. You may have some definite behavioral changes (bleeding): you may become a loner or a hermit, or promiscuous, or more leery, distrustful, or paranoid. You may drink or drink more, smoke or smoke more, do drugs, or become a workaholic or a shopaholic. You may swear off of men, or a particular group of men, altogether. You may have adopted all of these behaviors (and more) as a way to cope with your pain, but the continuation of these behaviors would indicate that you’re still bleeding, still in pain, and unless you eventually do something constructive to stop the bleeding, the bleeding will eventually stop on its own, but it may end in you self-sabotaging and/or self-destructing (which results in forming a bad heart scar).
So, what to do?
Stop the bleeding the right way. Once you realize that you may not be handling your pain well, that you are behaving in a way that may hurt you in the long run, STOP. Find another way to cope with your pain…and it’s hard to cope with your pain if you are constantly focused on it, so you will need to find something else to occupy your mind and your time. One main thing I did to stop my bleeding was to start working out and eating more healthy. I also prayed, meditated, studied the Bible more, resumed journaling and blogging, focused on work, visiting family and friends more, making future plans, reading, and redecorating.
Was it easy? Heck no! I had to apply pressure…for a minute! I had to really pour some of this stuff on! For instance, I had to almost become a fanatic about working out and eating healthy at one point. I had to sing and play a whole lot more gospel music—and I mean sing at the top of my lungs. I had to talk to one of my best friends (letting the wound, my hurt, air out) almost daily for awhile (poor thing—I know my sisterfriend was tired of me). I had to indulge in my daydreams of better days and envision myself happier doing x, y, and z. I had to always have a good self-help book with me to read on a whim. And after being excessive with these good behaviors (applying the pressure to stop the bleeding), I had to do the real work of my healing.
I had to pray, confess my negative emotions and subsequent actions, meditate on the Word, and forgive. I had to forgive the source of my pain and I had to forgive myself for my negative emotions and actions, my negative self-talk, and my shortcomings. Once I did this, I began to heal and my heart scar began to form. And the more praying and forgiving I did, the more I was healed and my heart scar is almost completely formed…almost.
I appreciate my heart scar; not all scars are bad. At this time, I don’t have any complaints about the way my scar has formed since my heart (emotions) still functions quite healthily. I still have a huge capacity to give and receive love. I’m not angry or bitter. I’m not vengeful or resentful. I’m happy and more at peace. I’m blessed. I’m grateful. I haven’t picked up any new bad habits (emotional or otherwise), so there’s nothing I need to “massage away” or “lighten” or “have surgery” to remove. My heart scar is smooth and flexible and serves as a reminder of my growth due to my experiences and my lessons learned. I will never be the same again and I’m glad, because I’m actually better! I’m a better person, a better woman, a better wife-to-be-one-day, and a better coach because of it. I’m actually blessed because of it!
So, I urge you: If you’re hurting, search out constructive ways to occupy your mind and time. Be careful of engaging in harmful behaviors that will at best, waste your time—or at worst, destroy you. Stop the bleeding. Once your bleeding stops, get to the healing activities and don’t stop. Then, when your heart scar forms, don’t pretend it’s not there. Instead, be thankful that God has healed you and share the testimony of your healing.
Other things you can do to stop the bleeding are: taking up a new class, learning another language, studying another culture, sewing, sports activities, getting a new hair color or cut, getting a makeover, getting a massage and mani/pedi, throwing a dinner party, hosting a movie night, attending a charity event, volunteering at the food bank, adopting a rescue animal, dining at a new restaurant, etc. are all things you can do to occupy your mind and time to stop the bleeding.
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