Of Scars and Healing

Jeff Kidman
Contributing Writer

Legacy Discovery Shaman Jeff Kidman brings to you exercises you can undertake anywhere, at a time that works for you. For the man on a men’s team, in a men’s group or out there on his own. The intention of these exercises is to bring you into greater connection to something bigger, so that you can broaden your context, reach your highest potential and ultimately be more successful in the endeavors that matter to you and those you influence.

“If you do not transform your pain, you will transmit it.”

Richard Rohr

We walk around with the things we identify with as our clothes, armor and sometimes weapons. Mostly this is unconscious. Many times our wounds are running us, creating our reactions and steering our lives. One of my wounds was the first years of my daughter’s life.

She was born with a heart defect, severe food allergies and soon after a lung disease. I wish I could say I overstate what we went through. But I can’t.

We were making actual life and death decisions on a regular basis for two years. Not so fun.

Some years later, when we had a beautiful playful 5-year-old in front of us, I would be brought to wracking tears when I thought of how much we loved her. I would experience the fear and pain of seeing what she went through all over again. I was rubbing salt in my own wounds. I could not separate the love from the memory of pain and fear of her death.

What I did, what I had to do, was transform that wound into a sacred scar.

It would be one that I could rub on and experience compassion for myself rather than make myself bleed again. I had to stop re-visiting giving her up to God over and over again. I had to untwist the fierce love for her from the experience of saving her. That experience has served me again, just last month.

My daughter had a planned heart surgery again. Again I had to learn to rub the scar, and remind myself of compassion. Compassion for myself and all the reminders of a life, my daughter’s life, bought with much struggle. I had to learn to wear the scar proudly and live in the victory of a life well bought.

Another way of looking at scars is the idea of retiring the old soldier. I don’t know who to credit or where I first heard this. The idea is that we have an underlying context or background attitude that determines what we do, and what guides our decisions.

One of these wounds for me forced me to go to places where I felt safe. In the past, I often would find ways to blend in or disappear so I would be safe and not be at risk of being excluded or kicked out. While this was a behavior that served me well as a young boy in my family, it became an unconscious limitation of my adult life.

Instead of engaging and putting forth my best self, knowledge and plans, I would wait and see. I would disengage rather than risk any negative feedback. This behavior, symbolized as a “soldier,” had served me well, but I have had to find ways to thank him for his service and ask him to stand down.

Our ‘Old Soldiers’ whom protected us in the past may limit us in our desire to expand, grow and excel. It’s at certain pivotal and re-defining moments in life that we must acknowledge his worth in getting us to who we are today and then allow him to simply, and honorably, retire.

In these moments, the scars are healed.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *