We all have scars from the past. How they affect our present is totally our choice.
And I got a great lesson on this recently.
Last Saturday I gave blood. I got the call from the American Red Cross saying there was a critical shortage of blood for the holiday season. It had been more than two years since I’d donated, having been held back from a trip to Mexico. So I was more than happy to get in there and give them the good stuff.
The other reason I hadn’t given is the last time I went in, I was rejected because of eczema on both arms in the spot where the needle goes in. So with only a couple of days notice, I started treating my arms with nonprescription strength hydrocortisone cream. My skin seemed to be OK, but I didn’t want to take any chances.
I got into the donation center, filled out the paperwork, drank my bottle of water and waited. Then I had a fun meeting with a woman named Sarah who asked me the usual questions and pricked my finger. So far, so good.
When it was my turn to get on the table, a different phlebotomist checked me out. She saw my arm and wasn’t sure. She called over the supervisor.
Now this is where it gets profound…
The supervisor put her hand on my arm and looked away. Then she ran her fingers over the spot where the needle goes in.
She looked at the other phlebotomist and told her I was fine to donate. She explained to her, and to me that the redness was scarring from all the previous bouts I had with eczema.
The other phlebotomist still wasn’t so sure. The supervisor offered her the opportunity to work with someone else, and she accepted. There wasn’t any eczema present on my arm at that moment. She could tell because my skin was smooth. There were no raised spots.
The redness was the scars from the past. They didn’t represent what was actually going on at that point.
If there’s a better parallel for our own lives, I don’t know what it is.
We carry our scars. Sometimes visibly. But they do not have to define us. They do not have to impact who we are now, what we are capable of now, what we can contribute… Now.
Someone is going to get a really nice pint of A negative blood because of me, and because of the supervisor who saw the present, not the past. Maybe it’ll save someone’s life.
So, tossing it over to you…
What is visible in your life from the past that you choose to carry over into the present?
Is it real or is it just your response to what happened from before?
Is it holding you back from what you’re capable of now?
Are you more than you’ve given yourself credit for?
Is someone waiting for you to cross over into your own competence, your own greatness?
Are you the person you’ve been waiting for all this time?
Respect your scars. They’re evidence you fought the good fight.
And then run to the life that’s calling out to you.
What scars from the past are you allowing to hold you back from a really good future?
What do you plan to do to let them go?
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