When I woke up this morning, I pulled the blankets off and swung my legs around and off over the edge of my bed. As I lifted my covers off me, I saw my legs which are always a painful reminder of how I once lived. On my left upper thigh I saw ten opaque straight horizontal self-inflicted scars all lined up vertically going up my thigh in a strategically placed location hoping no one could see them.
These scars are just some of the many permanent cutting tattoos I have covering my body from years of self-injurious cutting behavior. I self-harmed to reduce and distract myself from my debilitating mental pain from bipolar 1 disorder, PTSD and generalized anxiety disorder. I have been ashamed of my scars for years and am still ashamed of them but now to a lesser degree.
The shame of my cutting behavior has reduced gradually over the years and hearing a song like the following song helped me greatly. The first time I heard this song at an event at our church it spoke to me loudly as if Jesus was talking to me lovingly letting me know everything was going to be okay. I was okay.
This song is titled “Beautiful Scars” by Amy Shreve and the song may have different meanings for her and for other people, but this song spoke to me and inspired me greatly in many ways. It mostly spoke to me about my cutting behavior. The words made me feel better about the many scars I wear permanently in many places on my body.
I instantly felt less ashamed of my scars and myself. I can proudly wear my scars now. They are a beautiful part of who I am. I can see Jesus through the beautiful scars I wear.
I believe these words are for anyone that has bipolar disorder or any mental illness. These words are for anyone that has been hurt or abused in any way during their lives. These words are for you if you are living with chronic pain, a chronic illness an invisible illness or an illness of any kind. These beautiful words are for you if you are someone who is surviving the loss of a child or a loved one or if you are a suicide attempt survivor. These words are for anyone and everyone who has suffered or struggled during their lives.
Scars, wounds and blood shed can be visible and invisible. This music and these words are for you. They are for everyone. Listen to these beautiful words. Let them speak to your heart and soul. Let these beautiful and inspirational words fill you with God’s love and spirit. Let God’s love shine through you and touch others.
“Beautiful Scars” by Amy Shreve
“Beautiful Scars” (Lyrics) by Amy Shreve
I’ve heard your story, I think you are brave, and I can’t imagine half of your pain.
Your eyes bear the mark of a child of God. Whether near or far, you’re here in my heart. Whether near or far, you’re here in my heart,
and I cry when you’ve been wounded, and I die when your blood is shed.
I am a part of you, and I can see Jesus through the beautiful scars you wear,
so don’t think it is hopeless or yield in despair, ’cause I want to help you and God hears our prayers. The morning will come when there’ll be no more harm. ‘Til then, I hold you here in my heart, ‘Til then I hold you here in my heart,
and I cry when you have been wounded and I die when your blood is shed,
I am apart of you, and I can see Jesus through the beautiful scars you wear,
I cry when you have been wounded and I die when your blood is shed.
I am a part of you, and I can see Jesus through the beautiful scars you wear.
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