The Scars We Wear

As you sit there, reading this post, you are changing. Gravity is playing its role on your body. Depending on your health, your choices and your age, your body is expanding, aging, shrinking. You are growing or you are dying. Your hair is actively growing, right now, as are your nails. The dust flakes in your house are a result, in large part, of your skin cells having dried and flaked off. You hydrate and become less hydrated. You breathe in and then out.

It is not just our physical body and mental processes that are in a constant state of change, but everything around us is as well. Some change around us is imperceptible. Glass is the slowest moving liquid in the world. Other change is profound and we find ourselves deeply aware of it.

Everything in our material universe is in a constant state of flux, of change.

Nothing is in a permanent, fixed form. Science has good reason to believe that our planet will eventually die. Our sun will burn out. Our planet will assume another form, as will everything on it.

But with death, comes birth. Life feeds on death and death on life.

Look to nature and you will see this change in dramatic displays. The seed cracks its casing to bare forth an enormous live oak tree, which can grow for hundreds of years and reach gargantuan size. Inside of that little seed, is the potential for that oak. However, the oak will never be realized, until the seed breaks.

Want an omelet? You must first break some eggs.

Our lives are sustained by taking living matter´s life (animals and plants).

Joseph Campbell, the renowned mythologist, tells us that all change in life requires something to first break or give way for something new to emerge, which is an essential part of personal development.

Change is hard, inevitably. Change is what the Hero Journeys are always about. They are tales of transformation “tranform-ation”. Change. And these hero tales are reflections of how we, as humans, perceive our lives—in way of process, in way of facing and overcome obstacles–life in great measure, being a series of them.

I have faced some pretty terrific odds and obstacles in my life, to date. I would guess that most of us have faced significant ogres, deep dark forests, and threshold guardians. Most of us, at some point in our lives, may have felt as though we had been swallowed by a fish, like characters in so many mythic tales, or that we have landed in the “Belly of the Beast”. These are places of change. The belly of the beast serves as a cauldron, transforming its brew into…something else. The beast digests that which it swallows. The person or thing that emerges is different from what entered. These experiences—these great challenges we face in our lives—have a way of changing us the most, of transforming us.

Difficulty typically translates to mean challenging. When challenges are overcome, one grows. This growth can be come about in a myriad of ways, demonstrated through expansion of confidence, personal strength, strength of character wisdom, perspective, consciousness, knowledge, compassion, etc.

However, failure, too, can lead to some great lessons to be learned. Many scars we wear come from our failures. Yet, here we are.

Those scars we wear tell stories of tribulation, of obstacles faced of misfortune met. As we bare the scars and stand before another, wearing them (with pride or shame), we are living testament to the fact that we overcame and survived. We persevered.

Perseverance is one of the greatest keys to the realization of success.

Jim Hart is the founder of The Hart Technique, The International Theatre Academy Norway and Austin Conservatory of Professional Arts.

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One thought on “The Scars We Wear

  1. Well… thanks for the reminder about aging (and expanding!)

    But while I was massaging in some very expensive body cream I thought about how some really difficult changes in my life have been empowering lessons for me and creative catalysts. I guess when all seems lost is when we rally to the challenge. A kind of spiritual survival instinct. Better than Botox.

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