The beauty of scars

Paul Adamson
February 9, 2020

I recently had a client who had undergone surgery to his liver which had left a large abdominal scar. It was some two and a half years after the surgery that I got to see him but the scar was still clearly evident. He told me he was trying to feel more confident with his body post surgery. I completely understood because major surgery knocks the stuffing out of you and it takes a long while to get back to your old self even without the physical reminder of a scar.

On the other hand, this client has a great body, strong, well-toned, glowing with health. So you would think there was every reason to feel confident. The scar, for me, was visible proof of healing, not of rupture. It is one of the great triumphs of our times that we can survive this kind of surgery and get back to our lives whereas until a few generations ago, we would have died or been in a lot of pain. A reason to celebrate and be thankful. Surgeons are amazing people.

Scars always carry so much emotion. They are proof that the person has lived through something extraordinary and, to my mind, makes them more extraordinary. There is never anything ugly about a scar, they are your friend, your secret history, part of what makes you you.

Which leads me on to this: that we are all of us scarred to some extent because we are all at some point in our lives ravaged by what Hamlet calls the ‘slings and arrows of outrageous fortune’. Show me someone without scars and I’ll show you someone who hasn’t yet lived. Or an automaton.

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