Stories emerge from faded scars when you look at them under the Light.
My recent prayer has been asking Spirit to give me the voice to speak according to His will. This is the story He is asking me to share. This is my story of self-harm to self-love. Depending where you are in your journey and what you battle, it may or may not be for you in this moment. I want you to tune in. Close your eyes. Breathe deep. Then proceed with mindful awareness. I also want you to know that while I speak on one form of self-harm, there are so many, and the message is the same.
I am one of the lucky ones. For my pain led to lessons, and therefore planted a purpose. And yes, I have scars. They are there like ghosts that only I can see. And there are others with scars far worse than mine. May my story serve you in the highest good.
It was 1996, and I was 12. I was a child. I was on my grandmother’s bathroom floor with my back against the door and a stolen x-acto knife from the art room at school. Emotions brewed and boiled inside me that I didn’t recognize or know what to do with.
Not good enough-ness.
A you-don’t-matter mess.
I had somehow learned by that point that when I dug fingernail pressure into skin, the pain created a certain release within. But like a drug I needed more. A stronger fix. So I cut. With a stolen x-acto knife from the art room at school. Broken, brokenhearted, and lost at the age of twelve.
The sight of bright red blood, and the sensation of pain somehow calmed me right down inside. Twisted, right? Exactly. So how then, could I dare tell anyone? I kept it covered. I kept it shallow. They would heal quickly and take the blame of scratches from the cat. God knows, in my animal shelter of a household, we had enough of that.
This was not a suicide attempt. This was not a cry for attention. For I was taught not to cry, and it became my intention to go unnoticed. No, this was a transferring of pain from internal to external – where it could heal in the only way I knew how. Over the course of the next fifteen years, the only people who knew about this chapter of my mess were the very few whom I chose to tell. The addiction – for that’s what it became – would come and go just as the dark days would. Some entire years were better than others. But through it all, I was still lost. I was still broken. I was still searching for a means to calm the storm of my story.
In 2006 a newly founded movement found me – now flourishing and changing the world, To Write Love On Her Arms (TWLOHA) spoke straight to my heart from early beginnings. Some of you know it, and if you don’t and you are here reading my story, know that it was deeply influenced by the TWLOHA movement. My life changed more than I knew in the moment I read Rene’s story and the stories of people who continued to love her and lift her. My cutting did not end there, but a new loving chapter began. And since that day, I have learned we each speak a spiritual language of our own understanding; I have learned God is Love and Love is real; I have learned how to have unlimited access to that Love; I have learned countless ways to well-being in the mind, body, and spirit; I have learned how to live wild and free in the full spectrum of emotions that swim inside; and I have I been x-acto knife free for five years. More importantly, I continue to learn my story is so full of purpose; instead of craving an outlet to express emotional wounds physically, I now crave an outreach to teach the wounded that we have acted as butterflies when we were born to be eagles.
As I write this now, 20 years since being that broken 12 year old on a bathroom floor with a stolen x-acto knife from the art room at school… I am in awe at the ways He is using me. Teaching me. Showing me. Guiding me. And calling me to share Light. Too often, we allow our light to be snuffed under a bushel. Do not leave it there.
Reclaim your light. Own your power. Let it GLOW.
“Never take your eyes off the master, for He knows things that you do not know.” -Lysa Terkeurst