Learning to love our scars and asymmetries

Just when you thought you knew how weird I was…. there’s more! Did you know I have two different colored eyes? Specifically one of my eyes has 2 wedges of a different color in it, a condition called segmental heterochromia iridis. There are several different types of heterochromia (different colored eyes), and about 0.6% of the population are born with these conditions. There are also acquired types of heterochromia, like from trauma to the eyes (as in David Bowie, who is even weirder than I am). When I was a kid, I thought people with pale blue eyes or dark chocolate brown eyes, or pretty much any color other than what I had, were so much prettier. Now, finally, about 1 month shy of my 45th birthday, I finally realized my eyes are kinda cool.

Sadly, we tend to judge ourselves pretty harshly, and see the beauty in others far sooner than we ever see anything good in ourselves. We have to get better about this. Especially after cancer treatment, when surgery, chemo, radiation, and hormone blockade can leave us scarred and changed. Please click and read this beautiful excerpt from a talk by Ram Dass, about learning to judge ourselves less harshly. https://www.ramdass.org/judging-less-harshly/ I love his analogy of trees, and how different trees grow differently, because of lack of light, or other reasons, and how we don’t judge a tree because of this. We understand why it grew the way it did, and we allow it, and even appreciate that it was resilient and able to grow despite its conditions. Why can’t we be this way with ourselves? I’m beginning to be able to see my scars, not as ugly and asymmetric, but as signs of strength and resilience. I’m beginning to be able to appreciate them, even to have a deep respect for them and what they mean. They mean my body was able to withstand some pretty nasty stuff, and then it recovered and healed itself. It may not look the way it did before, but why would it? The human body is truly a magnificent marvel, and the fact that we can get through these toxic treatments and come out the other side is nothing short of a miracle. I’m trying to develop deep gratitude and love for my body, my scars and asymmetries and weird color abnormalities included.

The second part about the Ram Dass excerpt that I really love is the part about him putting his own picture on his puja table. For those who are unfamiliar, in several eastern traditions, one would normally have pictures of one’s guru or revered dieties on their puja table, and these would be used for prayers and devotional practices. So it is a little unusual to put your own picture there. But his reasoning is beautiful. We could all probably use a reminder to, as he says, open our hearts to ourselves and to understand the predicaments we are in. If we could be as loving and as understanding with ourselves as we are with others, as devoted to ourselves as we are to others, we would find ourselves so much happier and healthier. And we would also be more compassionate and loving with others. A positive feedback loop of love and understanding!

I invite you to take a look at yourself, and really see the glory and the miracle in your body and your spirit. Whatever weirdness you have, and whatever scars and changes you have acquired through cancer or other trials, you are a beautiful force of nature and you deserve your own love, respect, and understanding.

Weirdmaste (the weirdness in me honors the weirdness in you)

btw damn, my eyebrows are impressive, right?! Guess I wished a little too hard for them to grow back. Now I have way too much! I need a lawnmower for those things πŸ˜‰

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: