Stare and whispers have always been a part of my life. Sometimes, however, people even approach me and take their rudeness to whole new level. Strangers have actually come up to me, without smiling or even introducing themselves, and asked me about my scars. People have yelled at me, grabbed my hands, and told me repeatedly to remove the band on my arm. If only it was that easy.
It took me most of my life to learn how to overcome the rudeness of others. After an incident, I would always feel bad for a few days and even withdraw from my life. Then I would have to restart the process of convincing myself that I wasn’t broken, or a monster all over again.
Now after an encounter, I brush it off quickly. I have learned to just bless their heart. They are the ones with the problem—not me. But I also want to educate others on how to treat me. Everyone deserves to be treated with respect. Regardless of their ugly behavior, I will not allow them to make me act ugly as well.
It took me a long time to understand that when someone treats me badly it reveals their flaws, not mine. I already know that I’m not perfect. And I accept that. I also recognize that not everyone will like me. We cannot make other people love or accept us. However, if we love ourselves no one else’s opinion will matter. Just be you!
Once I accepted my imperfections, my scars transformed. They were no longer shameful or ugly. But God blessed me to see them for what they really are. Each one represents my gift of life. When I look at them I can see the attacks on my body, and how close I came to death.
In that moment, I decided to own my scars. I no longer hide them or try to pray them away. God gave them to me for a reason and they have helped me discover my purpose. Part of that purpose is for me to help others see their beauty as well and learn to embrace their life—scars and imperfections.
Recently, I had someone approach me at an event and tell me that my scars were no big deal to anyone around me because I didn’t make a big deal out of them. When we accept and embrace our differences, other people will, too.
And another thing, I’ve stopped looking for those stares. I smile and hold my head up. After all, I have absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. And if I notice someone staring, I give them my best smile and a little glimpse of the woman underneath the scars. I’ve had people to tell me that when I smile they can see God in me. How amazing is that?
How do embrace your uniqueness?