Woman in an art gallery looks at a beautiful yet vulnerable painting of herself

How I Learned To Accept My Scars As A Masterpiece (Part 1)

“My scars help create the masterpiece that is me.” I begged my eyes to acknowledge my broken reflection in the mirror as these words echoed in my head willing me to seek truth and positivity despite my circumstances. I remembered crafting this simple, yet mighty affirmation months before after a jarring diagnosis revealing that my skin was battling a chronic inflammatory disease.

In the midst of my biggest life trial, I had learned to lean on these words in my journey of self-love in hopes to one day find acceptance. My eyes found my reflection in the mirror and looked on begrudgingly as I dared to lift my arms and acknowledge the new scars that now adorned my body.

Accepting my new canvas

I took a deep breath, not one but two. Breathing in slowly as unblemished images of my skin prior to my disease flashed swiftly into my mind. This was followed by a shaky breath out released in an effort to ignite strength into my spirit. The simple truth was that each day held a revelation waiting to be unearthed under my arms which often left me riding an intense wave of turbulent emotions.

My skin that was once “normal” and unscathed, now boasted a collection of what I perceived to be dream killers destined to put a damper on my life. My fingers traced the bumpy pits of scarred skin that existed as evidence of the constant battle that took place in my body. My mind teetered between bursts of logic with the desire to accept my new canvas, while simultaneously fighting the desire to reject the belief that my disease was not only taking over my body, but also my life. In my mind, my skin disease had set out to destroy my canvas both inside and out.

And in that moment, a piece of me wanted to release all control and allow my disease to create its’ own story as I watched on in disbelief.

“My scars help create the masterpiece that is me”

As I stood in my bathroom mirror examining the scars under my arm, I was reminded of the many life trials it had seen me through. That mirror had guided me to see intimate reflections of myself and I imagined that it had its’ own interpretation of the masterpiece that is me. I had stood in that mirror through the many pivotal phases of my life from toddler tantrums to high school breakups and I realized that it was my reflection with the unwavering aura of strength that had comforted me even on my worst days.

The soundtrack to my life hummed quietly in my head, and wisdom whispered in my ear louder than before, “My scars help create the masterpiece that is me.” As I repeated this affirmation silently in my mind and then boldly out loud for my bathroom walls to hear, tears crept down my cheeks and the hushed energy of pain flowed down my body signaling an impending healing release.

Check out Part 2 of this series!

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