The other day I was pressing down on something with my index finger and felt a sudden, dull little pain I hadn’t experienced in quite some time. Something like 17 years ago I touched some broken glass, and a tiny shard of that glass lodged itself in the tip of my right hand’s index finger, never to be seen again… only felt, occasionally. It’s always strange when I feel it there—a reminder of something that caused me pain when I was just a little girl. I remember it so well: the glass door to our military housing apartment building in Germany had somehow been broken and, in true “all I want to do is exactly what I shouldn’t do” little kid form, I touched the broken door. And I’m still paying for it almost two decades later.
When I felt that sudden pain the other day, it got me thinking. That glass in my finger, despite all the time that’s passed and even though I can’t see it and usually can’t feel it, still sometimes DOES make itself known, often when I least expect it. And that made me think about other hurts we carry—other scars, other proverbial “glass shards” in our fingers. We are all products of our circumstances. The way we were brought up… the things we’ve seen… the mistakes we’ve made…and often the mistakes others have made. And it’s healthy and good to be aware of how those things might affect us—might change how we act and react, might change how we view the world. It’s good to not forget.
I’ve been seeing a counselor lately—not because I think I’m royally screwed up and heading down a one way street to Crazy Town, but because I’ve recently come to realize that things about my past affect how I am today, even when I don’t realize it and even when I don’t feel “damaged.” So far I’ve learned that I’m really, really good at repressing and pressing on. It’s who I am. But that doesn’t mean who I am hasn’t changed as a result of my experiences. No one gets out of this life unscarred. No one. Some cuts and scars are deeper than others—some people have it much, much worse than I. But I’m coming to realize how important it is to understand what makes you trip up sometimes. Before I started this counseling, I literally had no idea what exactly was causing certain issues I’ve had, but within one session with the counselor, he had me pegged. Not saying that everyone would have that easy of a time, but I tend to wear my heart on my sleeve and chronically over share (hello, Story of My Life), so my guy has an easy time of it.
All I’m saying is that when you understand the root of the problems, you’re better equipped to address them. Most of us have scars… or little shards of glass lodged so deep they’re easy to forget. But they’ll pop up every now and again. Best to understand why. Can’t fix it if you don’t know what’s broke.
Thanks for reading today. Hope you have a wonderful Wednesday!