Can you See my Scars?

Eight years ago, I had a birthmark removed. I still have a dark, bumpy scar where the incision was made. My knees and feet are pocked with marks from topples I’ve taken over the years. I have a prominent scar on my brow from when I was a preschooler with chickenpox. My body is physical proof of a life lived: the tumbles, the mishaps, and the decisions I’ve made.

My now-ex, Harry (yes, the “nice guy” and I broke up since he wasn’t as nice as I thought he was originally), told me as we were breaking up that he felt I held my past against him, that I came into the relationship with a grudge against every guy I’ve dated, but that I was taking all of my grudges out on him. He said that I didn’t start him with a blank slate, instead it was as if he came in holding my baggage.

And I willingly admit that my baggage was evident in the way I acted in our relationship. I was resistant to his touch. Hesitant to get too close too soon. I was rigid and couldn’t just “go with the flow.”

While I was meditating during a massage yesterday, a candle was struck: I wear my scars. Not just my physical scars, but my emotional scars, too. Yes, I have emotional scars that’ll never go away, but why do I come into relationships with them so prevalent? So out in the open for each and every guy to see? Try as I might, I can’t hide that chickenpox scar smack dab in the middle of my forehead, but can I try to hide the broken heart scars? Instead of a carry-on, can I check my emotional baggage?

From every relationship, I learn something. And from this one, I learned that I have to let it all go when I meet someone new. I can’t hold my past against someone else. I need to learn my lessons from past relationships and let them melt away. The next guy, whomever that may be, isn’t Harry, he isn’t my crazy exes, he isn’t my college boyfriend. The next guy, whomever that may be, will be just who he is, and I can’t hold anyone else but myself against him.

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