Tuesday, April 24, 2012

U is for Ugly

I am double-dipping again today. I’m keeping up with the April A to Z Challenge as well as hanging with Fiona and the gang over at Writing Our Way Home and participating in the “What’s Your Most Beautiful Thing” challenge.

What’s my most beautiful thing?

My most beautiful thing is ugly.

I have a really ugly scar on my left calf. Taking up almost all of my calf, it gets noticed. It’s deep, gnarly… hideous. But I love that damned scar. Why? Because it reminds me that I’m a fighter, that when I‘m up against it, I don‘t accept “no“ for an answer. It reminds me that I almost lost a leg, but thanks to the intelligence and perseverance of others, I still get to stand on my own two feet.

I also have a really ugly scar that runs across my belly. It’s the result of having ruptured appendix when I was a mere 16 months old. It’s not just a line, it’s a big dent - there because ruptured appendix is almost unheard of in a baby, so the doctors had to cut me in half and explore to find out what was going on. I love that damned scar too, because it reminds me that someone cared enough to give me the opportunity to experience my life. Someone else didn’t take “no” for an answer because they wanted to help me.

There are several unseen scars. There are scars left by bad times in my life - scars that have left dents in the flesh of my emotions. There are certain scars that were left by harsh words and cruel actions. They were etched into me by people who were indifferent to my feelings. They’re the ugliest of all. Those are the scars that have, at various times, made me feel ignorant, unattractive, and unlovable. To this day, if I’m not careful, those scars still sometimes fill me with self-doubt, and worse yet, self-loathing.

I love those scars most of all. Those scars prove to me that I can, as I have, rise above the things that would cripple a weaker soul. Those scars fuel my creativity. Those scars boost my stubborn attitude into an asset. Those scars help me accept that yes, sometimes life hurts and that’s just the way it is. Those scars help me see the scars in others and hopefully treat them with a little kindness. Those scars make me appreciate the good times that much more. Those scars are the shadows that make the light seem to shine even brighter. Those scars make me want to, as Jane Siberry once sang, “sing a little sweeter and love a little deeper.”

Those ugly scars are my most beautiful thing. Without them, there is no beauty.

“Here, all we have here is sky.
All the sky is, is blue.
All the blue is, is one more colour.”


  1. Those unseen scars can be the most painful, but are the most character building. Incredible post today. I like your outlook.

    Weird, weird, weird…
    A Faraway View
    An A to Z Co-host blog

  2. Amazing post! At times, I felt you were speaking for me. Most importantly, you've given me a new outlook. I should treasure the scars that have been left on my psyche. A hundred thousand thanks for this post!

  3. What a wonderful post! I think your outlook on scars - all kinds - is refreshing.

    Happy A-Z!

  4. What a fantastic way to look at this. Those ugly scars are actually beautiful because they have either helped you live or remind you how you rose above a bad time. I shall remember this as a good philosophy.

  5. Those scars help make us who we are, and that in itself is a Most Beautiful Thing. "Those scars are the shadows that make the light seem to shine even brighter;" just plain WOW ! And what perfect music to accompany this reflection of beauty. Jane Siberry is incredible too ! :-)

  6. I love this post, Barb. So very much.
    Thank you!

  7. wow, great post. I will never look at beautiful and ugly the same way again..........



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