The Scars That Lie Beneath

My wife and I have recently found a show we really enjoy. It’s called Arrow on the CW.

Arrow follows the story of Oliver Queen after he is rescued from a remote island.


Image by Paul Bica

Oliver pretends to return to his previous life as a rich playboy. Except that’s not who he is now.

The island had changed him. It left him with scars. Both physical and mental. And it’s changed his mindset.

His story got me thinking about the issues we face in our daily lives. How we’re often left with mental scars that redirect our lives.

How We Get Mental Scars

We are left with mental scars by many of the situations we face daily.

An abusive boss. An argument we had with our spouse. Words said by an abusive father.

The wounds cut deep and leave us altered. Guarded and scared.

You’ve discovered the old saying “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me” to be a lie.

They stay with us and we’re unable to shake them.

Using Our Scars For Good

You may think nothing good could ever come from the scars you’ve been left with. I have to disagree with that assessment.

The scars can be used for good.

I’ve seen others use their scars to educate and encourage those who have shared in similar experiences. People like Mary DeMuth, Lynette Moreau, or David Pelzer. They all overcame horrible abuse. Whether it was sexual abuse, drug abuse, or physical abuse. They suffered terribly and were left with scars.

Thankfully, they realized the abuse and scars were not the end of their lives. Instead, they’re now leading others to live better lives and to overcome their past.

Their scars became a bridge to help others.

Don’t Live Forever In Your Scars

You, too, can overcome your past scars and use them to lead others. Decide today that the past will not rule you. That you can move forward with your life. That you can help others do the same.

Begin to share your story with others. Let them know the past may have shaped your life in some way but it doesn’t define you.

Discover your way to use the scars to build a better life. To help others overcome similar situations as yours.

As you begin sharing about the scars, you’ll discover you’re not alone. And you’ll help those that felt alone before they heard your story.

Let this be a freeing moment for you.

Question: How have you been able to use your scars to lead others? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • My son and I love Arrow.

    I’m not sure I have directly used my scars, but I wallowed in them for years and now I just simply don’t.  So, I encourage others to deal with theirs and move on.  Don’t let them defeat you or hold you back or prevent you from making their current situation all that it should be.

    • It’s an exciting show for sure. Lots of twists recently.

      You could consider what you’re doing as a way of using your scars. You’ve learned to no long wallow in them. Now you’re using that knowledge to encourage others to move past the scars of their past.

  • Great post, Joe.  This is exactly what I’m doing with my life.  As you know, I was the child victim of a cult.  I also went through divorce to protect my infant daughter due to my former spouse’s severe struggles with OCD.  I also lost a firstborn daughter to birth defects.  All of these topics get discussed in my songs, poetry, and books.  My first book “A Train Called Forgiveness” covers the abuse I went through as a kid in a cult and how that affected me as a young adult.  The second book will touch on loss and divorce and continue the “fictional” story of finding the cult leader who had faked his own death.  You can learn more on my site:    

    • I knew a bit about your past Dan but not all of that. Thanks for sharing a bit more about yourself.

      It’s amazing what our past hurts and scars can do in the lives of others. If we let them, like you are, they can help heal their hurts and let them know they’re not alone. Is this what you’ve seen as you share your past?

      • Of course, keep in my mind that my books are officially “fiction.”  I have no idea if the cult leader faked his own death.  There are mysterious circumstances surrounding his death and I used them as a premise for the second book.  Although it’s fiction, it includes many aspects of my own life experiences such as divorce, and the loss of a child.  

  • Scars can leave us in a place of bondage. I allowed scars from the past keep me in a holding pattern. One of the things I learned was to forgive others and myself. Forgiveness frees you to move forward with your life. Forgiveness destroys the hold of scars. If you are struggling with forgiveness there is a great resource that can help through the process. It is called ‘Forgiving Forward’ by Bruce and Toni Hebel. The website is

    • Awesome Bernard. Forgiving Forward looks like a great resource for those struggling to let go of the past.

      You said your scars had kept you in a holding pattern. What made you decide to break free of the bondage?

  • My life has been full of scares. God and mentors have allowed me to move past and heal from them. Now my desire and passion is to serve and help other people become better. Great post and thoughts Joe!

    •  Dan I like how your typo can add a new angle to the conversation 🙂 (scares/scars)

      • I noticed that as well Ngina and thought it fit perfectly with the post. Our scars often cause us to be scared.

      •  I’m the master of typo’s:) Oh, wait it planned it that way. hehehe.

    • I’m glad you’ve learned/are learning to move past your scars. I’m sure your testimony will be able to help others heal as well. Have you found this to be true as you’ve shared your story?

      •  It sure has. I have had the opportunity to share my stories or parts of my story to help other people.

  • It just isn’t true that words don’t hurt – they are the only thing that actually do (pretty sure someone way smarter than me said that before).  Sometimes we don’t realize that the person we are today is because of those past scars…and if we don’t identify and reconcile them they can continue to define us.  So that is what I try to do, recognize that I’ve been hurt and then try to figure out what I want my reaction to be.

    • Amen to that Tom. I know there’s been many times a physical wound hurt less than wounds from words that were spoken.

  • I think I’ve shared this here before.  A couple of years ago, my wife and I went through some pretty traumatic times as she suffered through the instability that can come with bi-polar disorder.  The scars from this time are deep, but we have learned to have compassion for others suffering from mental health challenges.  God is good!

    • Yes, He is very good. It’s amazing how even something so hard as dealing with bi-polar disease can be used for good. Thanks for sharing, I’m sure it’s not an easy thing to talk about.