A friend was talking about the events that had occurred over the course of her life. "Each situation took away a piece of me, and left me feeling less sure of myself, less whole."
I pondered her statement for a long time and then I asked her, "Is it possible that the parts of you that were taken away were parts that you no longer needed?"
We often view events or crises as diminishing our sense of self, our ability to feel strong and whole, but perhaps it is just the opposite. Perhaps when our ego is bruised or our self-esteem is diminished, we are actually making room for a whole new understanding of who we are to shine through.
Rumi says, "Keep looking at the bandaged place. That's where the light enters you.
I look over my life and I can see plenty of bandaged places. I used to feel like there was a hole where my heart should be. A big gaping wound that no amount of bandages could cover. I had to put an imagined steel belt around my heart to keep it from feeling too much pain, from coming to terms with the gaping hole. But that hole was precisely the spot where the light seeped through. When I eventually let go of the steel band and let the pain pour out, even more light poured in. I felt more whole, more centered in my self, more full of light.
Our scars are also our greatest potential for growth and enlightenment. Without them we would become complacent and spiritually lazy. Every trauma we go through is a potential bandaged place and a potential place for the light to shine through. Instead of looking at an event with sadness or pain, try looking at it as a window through which the light of your own spirit can shine and help you to heal. Take off the bandage slowly. There will be pain, but there will also be light.
As parents we worry that a traumatic event may scar our children for life. Death of a loved one. Divorce. Moving to a new city. Being the victim of a bully. We see their wounds and scars as our fault. If we were better parents, our children wouldn't have to go through this pain and suffering.
We ARE responsible for a lot of what our children must experience. We make the major decisions that affect their lives for good or ill. I am not absolving you of your responsibility as a parent. Rather I am challenging you to look at a difficult event as a potential for your growth as well as the growth of your children. Help them to express their feelings and also help them to feel the light shining through their discomfort. If children can learn that growth and light come from every difficult event in their lives, they will welcome the events as they come and open up to the light, rather than avoiding any conflict or wallowing in sadness, self-pity or resentment. And the bandaged places will heal without a scar at all.