If one were to look closely at certain parts of my body, they would see a few scars from injuries I received in my youth.
I once had my finger stuck in the face mask of another player once playing football. The pain was excruciating for a few days and then it was gone. My entire finger nail ripped out. That is a visible scar that has healed on me if one were to see my right ring finger.
I also once got blind-sided and hit on the side of my head by my eyebrow. That one didn’t hurt, but the mysterious person (who I never saw) must have been wearing a ring because it sliced open my eyebrow and I needed stitches. Another scar visible if one were to look closely at the edge of my left eyebrow.
Both injuries when viewed by other people are normally conversation starters. There is no pain currently but there is still a mark left on me that people see and wonder how I got it. The healing process is complete and all that is left is the story.
However inside of me, there are many more scars, scars that are unable to be viewed by simply looking at me. These scars were inflicted by wounds that took weeks, months and years to heal. Some have even never fully healed.
The truth I have had moments of happiness, triumphs and success. I have also experienced moments of sadness, loss and defeat. What truly separates those times was my emotional ability to handle each situation.
Good times never seem to last long enough. Success tends to be fleeting for most people, and happiness is an emotion that can be mixed and intertwined with other emotions at any given time for any number of reasons. In some cases, our happiness and sadness can be uncontrollable, for better or worse, and without warning.
When we experience sadness or misfortune, in many cases it is caused by an action or event from another person or something beyond our control. Sadness, like happiness is an emotion that resonates through our entire body and can make us transparent to others.
We all learn at some point in life that life is not fair. We may be given something, an object, a career, a desire or a person that we care deeply for only to lose it for one reason or another.
Loss is an emotion that can feel crippling and take a long time to recover from. There are certain actions that happen that leaves scars upon us and continue to affect our lives long after the wound was initially inflicted. The emotional type of scar is rarely, if ever visible to the naked eye.
There are a few actions that I have experienced that have left deeper emotional scars within me than other actions.
The most heinous action one can do to me is to lie to me. Generally speaking, the more we care for someone, the more we feel the sting of the lie. The more we care, coupled with the size of the lie can leave a scar that takes a long time to heal, and in some cases, we may never fully recover from it.
When we place our trust in someone, we let our guard down. We are exposed and vulnerable because we do not suspect or anticipate any negative consequences. In return, we generally afford the same confidence of trust to the same individual.
Trust may take months or even years to fully earn, yet trust can be completely dissolved forever by one lie or deceitful action. Trust is precious. People can normally forgive, but we tend to never forget. That is why if we truly care, we continue to honor those we care about by exhibiting a consistent honest nature.
There are different degrees of lies. There are little white lies, the harmless kind that tend to have less of a sting and long term effect. These can be things as simple as saying something we don’t whole heartedly agree with in order to avoid confrontation or even choosing not to say something to incur the same results. Most of the time a simple apology will nip this in the bud and life can go on as normal.
Yet if the white lies continue, then trust can become a major issue and the bigger picture comes in to question. So it can evolve from qualitative to quantitative.
The unforgivable lies. The life changers. The lie that complete changes the dynamic of any relationship or friendship. These are the type of lies that might only need to happen one time, but they are so egregious that one time is all that was needed to lose the trust of a person in our life forever.
These types of big lies tend to be less frequent, but more devastating. Lying about who we are and what we believe in and living that lie is unforgivable. Even if we find a way to justify it to ourselves, or it is attempted to be justified to us, how can we ever truly know truth if all we ever experienced was the lie?
In my humble experience, trust is of the utmost importance. I do not trust many people because of the constant little white lies I tend to encounter from many people on a daily basis. Adding to the fact that little white lies seem to be more acceptable in society today adds to my dilemma of trusting people. The result is an unfortunate one, as it has made me skeptical of many of the claims I hear from people.
Lies have also left deep scars inside of me. I have been promised the world and left with dust. I have been falsely wooed and left shattered and broken by false and hurtful words. People I once trusted who broke my trust have left me scarred and I still am recovering in some fashion even from wounds inflicted from those I felt betrayed me and breached my trust. It has caused me to enter any new situation with a person or dealings with a person with skepticism.
Those I do trust are few and far in-between. Yet they have earned their trust by their constant honest dealings and conversations with me. Those are the people I feel comfortable opening up to and being myself around. Being around those type of people make it easier for me to maintain my lowered guard and feel more relaxed.
Honesty is one virtue I hold in high regard and I try to practice and balance to the best of my ability. I feel if I am honest with a person, they will afford me the same courtesy. Yet this is not always the case and it has cause my inner scars to manifest themselves inside of me to maintain my skepticism.
The other virtue that tends to leave a deep scar that tends to take a long time to recover from is loyalty.
The two at first glimpse seem to go hand in hand. Those who are honest are therefore loyal and those who are loyal are therefore honest. Yet this is not always the case.
Loyalty is tricky. With whom does our loyalty lay with? Often times we are put in a position to make a decision of picking a side so to speak. Some scenarios place is in a situation that if we are loyal to one person, we may breach our loyalty to another. It can be a slippery slope.
Loyalty carries with it a system of hierarchy. We simply can’t be loyal to everyone and every industry. There is much contradiction within the realm of loyalty.
Most of us choose to be loyal to family And friends above all else. Yet if we are placed in a position because of a circumstance to choose who to be loyal to we may find that we lose either way.
I have also been scarred by a sense of false loyalty. Much like trust, if I believe someone to be loyal to me, I lower my guard and trust that they have my best interest in their thoughts. Yet the loyalty strings can pull in many directions. So often we wish to please so many people that at the end of the day, trying to please everyone simply causes the pleasing of no one.
Yet I do not seek out or expect blind obedience or a person to always agree and side with me and my opinions for a person to be loyal. Loyalty is simply those people who will not abandon me when I need them most. They may disagree with me from time to time, but I know they will never turn their back on me and ignore me. Loyalty is sticking with me through the thick and thin as I would stick by their side through the same circumstances.
Feeling the loss of someone who was once loyal to us is a tough pill to swallow. As I recollected on past events of people who I once felt a loyal bond with that dissolved, a common occurrence typically followed. One that, in my opinion is equally egregious as lying and acting deceitful; being ignored.
Being ignored sends us the signal that we are no longer worthy of another’s time or effort. It also carries with it a connotation of finality. If we are ignored, we can never speak our minds or express our feelings with those whom we desire most to speak to. This embodies the worst of both dishonesty on disloyalty.
The emotional scars left from both actions tend to leave us frustrated, confused, unbalanced and deeply hurt. We often carry these scars in to other areas of our lives and in to new and existing relationships with people in our lives.
The only real cure is time. While I continue to wear the scars that were inflicted by others, they still can be periodically poked and prodded at by other people. People who normally never caused the initial wound. They may unknowingly and unintentionally touch the scar with some type of action that makes my scar open up in to a wound again. It’s simply a consequence of living life and running in to unfortunate or unavoidable life situations.
Yet time really does heal all wounds. Some may take longer to heal than others and even when they do heal, we carry a scar within us as proof that we have lived, we have suffered and we have survived.
Author: Adam Wilkinson