A scar can simply be defined as “a mark left where a wound has healed”. Some scars are apparent; you can easily notice them because they are visible. Such scars may be on one’s face, hand or leg.
Other forms of scars are not so easily detected; they are internal and often deep. It may be a fragile heart that was broken by a lover, a hope that has been dashed by a bad experience, a mind filled with pessimism due to the cruel acts of man, or a heart that injustice has been meted on again and again.
We all have scars. We have all witnessed setbacks, failures, disappointments, negligence, abusive words or unfair treatments in the past. In our life’s journey so far, some people have looked down on us, maybe because of our age, gender, background, tribe, exposure or physique. Others have questioned the power of God in our lives by underestimating our abilities, talents or potentials. Indeed, we all have scars.
During this COVID-19 pandemic, we have all been affected in one way or the other – financially, socially, emotionally, physically or otherwise. However, we can turn any setback to a setup for a comeback. See, life is not fair. It always comes with one challenge or the other that often leaves temporary or permanent scars in our lives.
In the rainy season of the year 2003, on a beautiful Monday morning, I was preparing for school, when my 15-year-old cousin rushed in, breathing heavily like someone who had just climbed Mount Everest and said, “My mum is dead.”
Instantly, I recalled my visit to her mum the Sunday evening preceding that Monday morning. She had cooked Semovita and vegetable soup for me. She had been filled with zest and ecstasy because of my visit. She was absolutely healthy. However, at that time it was not news to anyone in the family that she was pregnant, and she was in fact close to her delivery date. So, I concluded that her mum had given birth; maybe she didn’t listen to the information correctly. I took my bag and went to school.
In school, I could not concentrate in the class. My mind was travelling at the speed of light to what happened in the morning. I began to ask myself, “Can it be true? Is this how people die?” No, it is not possible, I concluded.
After school hours, I rushed back home. Then it became crystal clear to me that my aunt and her unborn baby were truly dead and had been buried. As I am writing this article, I can vividly recollect the tears in everyone’s eyes, the sadness that tragedy brought to my family and the fear of how to take care of her five children. But above all, what I often remember her for is her hilarious jokes, simple lifestyle, kind heart and her favourite Ebenezer Obey song “Ile aye, fun gba die ni o, omo araye e se’re o,” – meaning, this world is for a short while, human beings, do good deeds.
Likewise, I lost my lovely aunt, an elder sister, a close friend and two of my younger brothers at early ages in the past. Some of us have lost a parent or both, a friend, a sibling, an uncle, a colleague, a husband, a wife or a partner. But life goes on and we have to move on. The scars are there but we cannot change them; we can only decide to move on.
However, some people yet wine and dine in the past. They have not raised their head up to see what lies before them. If you are one of these folks, this is the time to pick up the pieces of your life and move on. You are not the only one with scars, we all have scars. Khalil Gibran rightly said, “Out of sufferings have emerged the strongest souls, the most massive characters are seared with scars.”
You have what it takes to turn your scars to stars, discomforts to comforts, failures to successes, and disadvantages to advantages. Yes, you have the courage to rise above pessimism and open your mind to the optimistic view of life. In the middle of the storms, in the midst of devastating thunders and in the atmosphere of crippling darkness seldom lit by the ironic lightning, you can find your light, your voice, your identity, your strength and live a purposeful life.
I have never read or heard of any successful man who has never suffered setbacks, failures, trials, pains, disappointments or challenges. All these are part of the menu of success in life. Yet great people turned their scars to stars. You, too, can. Have faith and be dutiful.
ACTION PLAN: Accept what you cannot change with peace of mind. Belief in your inner power to overcome any challenge regardless of how tough or painful is it. Take life easy.
AFFIRMATION: I have the incredible power to turn my scars to stars. I am blessed and highly favoured.