Scars & Vulnerability
Last week I shared the story of how I got the scar on my chin. When I posted a blog post about it 2 years ago, it got so much engagement. I wanted to know why that was, so I asked some of readers why they thought it might be the case. In today’s episode, I share some of their responses and comment on them. I got into a deep discussion on shame, fear, insecurity, and vulnerability. I’m putting the quotes in this post. If you want to hear my commentary and more of my thoughts, be sure to listen to the full episode.
Why was that my most popular blog post?
Here are some responses from my readers:
- I think because people are super nosey
- Interactive readerships are just qualified markets when you think about it. There’s nothing wrong with the wedding photography niche, but it’s just that, a niche. To click through and comment on someone else’s wedding photos, you have to be part of a pretty small market that is open to engagement on that topic. By presenting a question that could make almost anyone curious, even if they don’t know you, or don’t care about photography, you’ve opened the door to almost limitless readership markets.
- Anyone can connect to having a physical scar. And then you get into bigger connections like having emotional or spiritual scars that we try to hide or that we wear regardless. Scars are very much a part of the human experience, and they don’t distinguish between stage/season of life, occupation, hobby, interest, ability… anything. They just are.
- It is relatable. Almost everyone has a story of when they fell off a bike. And I always tell my students that if they fall and get hurt, they have a battlescar to show off. On a deeper note, I think it reminds me that everyone has scars of some sort, and they all tell a story. And in every story you can see God at work.
But you see, there are so many other things people relate to also. Breakups. Loneliness. Insecurity. But we don’t talk about those things. Kids talk about scar stories like they are battle scars. Why don’t we do that as adults?
I again, asked my readers about this as well. Listen to their insights:
- Because it’s something people are often insecure about
- I’d probably be embarrassed if the same thing happened as an adult.
- Many adults are too proud to share their stories of personal hurt (they think it makes them appear weak) and/or they fear what people will think.
- I think we are less likely to share our adult scars because they are more often related to a time of shame.
Ah, shame. I think that one is HUGE.
Shame & Vulnerability
Brene Brown talks a lot about shame in her book, The Gifts of Imperfection. Here’s one of my favorite quotes: “The only way to resolve shame is to talk about it. Maybe we’re afraid of topics like love and shame. Most of us like safety, certainty, and clarity. Shame and love are grounded in vulnerability and tenderness.”
She goes on to sate later, “Shame hates it when we reach out and tell our story. It hates having words wrapped around it – it can’t survive being shared. Shame loves secrecy. The most dangerous thing to do after a shaming experience is hide or bury our story. When we bury our story, the shame metastasizes.”
Maybe that’s a reason I was never super insecure about my scar. Maybe talking about it a lot actually helped.
Everyone has hurt, but we cover it up. We don’t open up to people as much as when we were kids. Maybe that’s because our scars as adults aren’t just skin deep. We hide from vulnerability, maybe because we know that when we open up to someone, we’re more likely to be hurt.
How has my scar made me feel about myself?
Honestly I don’t think about it. Sometimes I hear people complain they will have a scar and they can’t wear a bikini or something and I have to admit I think… seriously? I have a scar on my face. But it doesn’t cross my mind a lot. Because I know different people have different struggles. Different people struggle with body image more than others. And every person is unique. Above all, I long to be compassionate, caring, and kind.
What about Romans 8:28?
How has it worked for good in my life? I mentioned that was the first thing I thought about when I hit the pavement. But have I seen that play out in my life?
- Helped me not care so much about my looks… maybe?
- Helped me own who I am
- Kept the shallow boys away
- Maybe sharing this today will help someone in their vulnerability story
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