Perception post: Embracing scars

blog post on respect

“We are the curves of the mountaintops: smooth from a distance, but jagged in proximity; serene from afar, yet possessing dusty scars when observed closely.”

Upon starting this blog – on April 5th 2016 – there were some thoughts racing through my mind, holding me back: what if this blog reveals too much about me? What if all the judgmental people from my past find it begin to do what they’re best at – judge? What if people don’t resonate with my creativity? What if I overstep the boundaries of my experimental comfort zone and, instead of remaining private, as I have always been, become an open book?

I have found there is only one way to make peace with my worries: I want to be honest – an exposing, confessing, vulnerable honesty. Not because it’s something that this blog or my life demands of me, but because I know it will liberate me. Once you’ve told your truth, openly accepted it, confronted it, you feel its hold over you ceasing, its strength diminishing. Gradually, it becomes so weak and faint, until one day, it’s no longer much more than a reminiscent smile curling at your content lips.

Everyone has their weaknesses, insecurities and self-doubts, as do I. Everyone has pieces of their past they are still trying to forget, as am I. But, very recently, I’ve had the realisation that the past need not be something we attempt to escape – not that I think that’s possible – for perhaps our relationship with the past is at its best when simply: embraced. This embracing may give us the peace and contentment we crave, however it will also remind us that the past does not define us, we are in control of how we perceive it: if we don’t want it to haunt us, it won’t. If we want to reflect on it in a positive light, we will.

We are shaped into the people we are today because of our small histories, both positive and negative: the small moments in which we walked with people who made us laugh abundantly or cry deeply, the instances in which we embarassed ourelves or felt we were someone else’s pride, the times we felt we couldn’t be more alive, and others when we felt completely and utterly alone. It seems wherever there is light, darkness follows: threateningly close, subtly powerful. But there is a certain comfort in realising and knowing that everyone experiences dark moments, because they are guaranteed if you’re human.

The very part of the mountains that make them so beautiful are their jagged, rough edges, and they are also the very thing that makes them so equally rewarding and thrilling to climb. But it seems people are so eager to hide their rough edges – their scars – and I only wish someone told us that they are a beautiful thing, for you can only ever hope to know someone if they reveal these parts of themselves to you. We are the curves of the mountaintops: smooth from a distance, but jagged in proximity; serene from afar, yet possessing dusty scars when observed closely. It is our past – and the scars it has given us – that shape us into who we are.

So, I choose to be honest, for I want to embrace that past with a smile, scars included:

1) First of all, to those who have shared themselves with me, however little or much: thank you for trusting me, and giving me the most precious thing you can – a part of you.

2) To those who have judged me or made me feel insignificant in any way: thank you for giving me one of the most powerful lessons of my life – what you say or think about me does not define me. And because of the way I felt constrained by your labels, I will never impose them on others.

3) To those I have hurt: I’m sorry, please forgive me.

4) To those who have broken my heart: I forgive you.

5) To those who have been racist, sexist or unaccepting, in any way, towards me: You have taught me the inexpressible importance of embracing people and the bodies they live in, as they are. You showed me the importance of humbleness and respect: we live in a world that none of us own, a world that is dynamic and variant. And that’s a wonderful, beautiful thing.

6) To those who rejected me: You helped me realise that rejection isn’t the end, for your dismissal didn’t end my progress, it gave me another route to follow, albeit one that was better for me.

7) To those who have left me out: From sitting amongst you I learnt the way I must behave when others sit with me. Thank you for showing me the difference the smallest of kind gestures can make.

8) To all those who have ever made me laugh: you are the light of my life, and there are no words to express my gratitude.

9) To those who were once a part of my life but gradually fell away: thank you for all the memories. There is still a thread that links us together, no matter how frail or weathered, it’s still there.

10) To those I love: I will embrace any scar you ever show me.

I hope that you, my reader, whoever you may be, are able to openly embrace your past, for I want you to experience the serenity of that content reminiscent smile. And so, as you gradually get through life’s hurdles and reach the top of your mountain, alongside enjoying the spectacular view from up there, you are not afraid or ashamed to turn around and look upon the scars that made you who you are, you are grateful.

Anam Iqbal 

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