When I first heard the eruption, I thought I had hit something big. My entire car started shaking and I was really sure that I had messed up bad. As I made my way to the right lane, I heard a jack hammer beating into my car.
I was already late to a meeting and this wasn’t helping the situation at all. I pulled over to see what had happened and discovered that my rear tire had burst. The tread had torn and repeatedly slapped up against the underside of the bumper right behind it, leaving a dent the size of a football in its stead full of a sticky black substance that must have come from the tire. That was two years ago.
I was admiring my car as I walked across the parking lot last week when my eyes fell on that spot again. It doesn’t have the sticky stuff on it anymore, but there are still some noticeable scars inside of the large dent.
“Why haven’t I fixed this yet?”
I couldn’t help asking myself. All sorts of thought followed, “I’ve had a lot of tight money months since then, I’ve been jobless a lot, I’ve been prioritizing other things when I have money and– No, wait, that’s the one.
I haven’t prioritized this. Why not? I guess I don’t really care about it”.
I looked again at the blemish.
“I really should care about this. Why don’t I?”
I remembered how I’ve been living over these past few years: I remembered my torn black Vans with the cloth at the front hanging un-stitched like a tongue from being worn so often. I remembered my two pairs of jeans with back pockets torn wide enough for my wallet to fall out of. One of those pairs was a good inch to short for me. I recalled my discolored shirts with tattered collars, and the faded sweater everyone kept telling me to throw away. Everyone always told me that I needed new clothes and that I could do better than what I was wearing.
I didn’t listen.
If people were insecure about their clothes and such slaves to their appearance that they had to buy new clothes when something got a little old, then that was their problem. I wasn’t worried about that. I believed that those worn things had character, that they had proven themselves faithful and enduring. I was proud of these worn-out clothes. The problem was, they were still worn out. Old clothes need to be fixed or replaced, it’s that simple.
I’ve been called a wounded warrior before, and I’ve worn the title proudly. I take pride in having seen years of fights, and having grown accustomed to pain. The thing is though, warriors take time to get healed between battles, and for so long I haven’t been. Just foolishly marching forward feigning I’m not hurt. A festering wound can kill you. Major cuts and scrapes left unattended to can attract disease and leave you losing arms and legs and emotional wounds are the same.
Sure you can live with no arms or legs, or without sight in one or both eyes, but can anyone deny the effect that can have on your life, the new difficulties that can arise from such circumstances and the sheer amount of things that become impossible? Things like depression, being unable to accept love, having anger issues, and lacking self-worth can be signs of emotional wounds that haven’t healed, and they have been for me.
Fix your car, let go of your old clothes, tend to your wounds. No one is impressed by large egos too wounded to ask for help. Take courage, step forward, be renewed, better days await us both.