Badge of Courage

We all have things about ourselves that can bring up feelings of shame, doubt, and unworthiness. These feelings may cause us to want to hide or disguise these parts of ourselves. We have the POWER to choose how we want to view ourselves, our flaws, our strengths, our scars…all of it. We can shape our own reality, define our own labels, beliefs, opinions, about ourselves and our circumstances. We can create our own masterpiece from the pieces of ourselves that feel the messiest; we are the creators of our own lives, journeys, and experiences. 

I began to reshape my perspective of how I viewed my deepest scars and wounds from being aspects that I wanted to hide to seeing that they are my superpowers in disguise. When I was around seven years old, at summer camp, a girl in my bunk looked at my scar with disgust and pointed at it as she said, “EWWW, what is that?” I didn’t even know what to say, which is not like me, but this was the first time ever that I was being singled out for having a scar. As far back as I can remember I have always had a scar on my chest from my initial open heart surgery when I was two years old. I never thought much about it until that moment when this girl was responding as if it was the grossest thing she had ever seen. I realized that I should probably figure out a response to say if anyone else was to ask me about my scar. When I asked my mom about what to say in response to this question, she said to tell people that it was my Badge OF Courage. I knew as soon as my mom told me to say that, that I never would. Kids can be extremely mean and I didn’t need them making fun of both my scar and the fact that at seven years old I was calling it my badge of courage.

Although I never called it that to others, over time I started to see that it didn’t really matter what I said about it, what truly mattered was how I felt about it. I started to feel that it was my Badge OF Courage. I started to see the aspects of myself that I once wanted to disguise, camouflage, avoid, or hide as the superpower that it truly is and it profoundly changed my experience. In every moment we get to choose how we view ourselves, our scars, our wounds. Is it really a gnarly scar or is it your superpower in disguise? It may be your Badge of Courage, a testament of your strength, courage, and resilience.

I invite you to look at the things that you think of as flaws. How did you get them? Is there a story behind each scar, wound, bruise, beauty mark, freckle, etc.? How did it shape you to make you who you are today? 

Behind those physical/emotional scars are the attributes that got you through it. They represent your courage, strength, and resilience.  These are attributes that you certainly do not want to hide. They may just be your superpowers in disguise– they are the parts of yourself that make you, YOU!