There was one quote in the first few chapters, though, that's stuck with me throughout the weekend and into this week.
"...a scar is never ugly. That is what the scarmakers want us to think. But you and I, we must make an agreement to defy them. We must see all scars as beauty... Because take it from me, a scar does not form on the dying. A scar means, 'I survived.'"
It's sort of found a little crevice in my mind and made itself at home.
My personal world doesn't come with a lot of physical scars. I am possibly overly careful with my body, not much of a daredevil. I prefer my feet on solid ground where I can control my relationship with gravity. I don't go in geographical areas by myself where I might be more likely to be mugged or eaten by bears. (Don't even bother trying to tell me that bears don't eat people. Joel's been trying for 15 years with little success.) I'm fairly certain my scars are limited to surgeries and that one time in the 2nd grade when I was pretending to fight with my best friend over who got to be Michael Jackson's girlfriend and was hit by a flying toy near my eye.
Emotional scars, though... these I have by the truckful. And at almost 35, I figure I wouldn't be much alone in that. 35 years of being in relationships with people gives you a lot of time to wield and harbor hurts, doesn't it? It is here that this quote from Little Bee filters slowly through my mind. It is an easy thing to paint yourself the victim and think "Woe is me." To allow yourself to feel so put upon because the hurts that people have inflicted on you have wounded so deeply.
But, understand what it is to see those scars they have left as survival. As beauty. It means that they didn't win. It means that the hurt they meant... the crippling they intended. It didn't work. You are still ticking. You are still growing. You are still living. You are still loving. And they are left small, ineffective, and bitter.
You, then, emerge... not as the victim, but as the survivor. The victor.