Soothing your scars. By Louise Blenkinsop
I have this scar. It’s on my chest. And I can’t touch it. It makes me cringe, and sometimes if I make contact with it by accident, my stomach turns and I feel physically nauseous.
You see, it was from having a Hickman Line, and that was not a pleasant experience. It reminds me of being a patient and I don’t always want to recall that.
Why I’m thinking about scars though is, I don’t think you can always see a scar, they don’t have to be visible; but they can still have the same nauseating effect should something spark a thought of it.
I found myself doing just that, triggering a memory for someone recently – totally without meaning to (I am a nice person after all!), but once it had happened there was no going back. I sensed the anxiety rise and that was not enjoyable.
I meet a lot of people in my life, and I am conscious I do not know all of their thoughts or experiences. I understand what it is to look “normal” but have a storm of feelings racing through your mind and pain in your body. You can’t help to stir up unwanted emotion in some people; it’s almost inevitable.
I spoke with one of our clients recently about taking a mindful walk. It’s a lot like a normal walk but instead of pondering your troubles, fears or anxieties you might have; you push them to the side and focus on what you have immediately around you.
Maybe the wind is rustling the leaves on the trees, how does the ground feel beneath your feet? Is the sea rough and crashing over the rocks, or is it calmer and more rhythmic? Are your hands chilly or can you feel warmth from the sun?
You might walk past things that cut through the peace, maybe there are construction works, loud voices or a noisy car. That is fine, greet each inconvenience with kindness, acknowledge it, and push it to one side.
If you lose concentration, bring your thoughts back to your breathing, feel your lungs inflate under your ribs, and the shift and movement as they expire. Then send your awareness back out to your surroundings, noticing each sound, movement and feeling from around you in that very moment. Allow your concentration to float from one place to another as you go along your journey.
This may take some practice, but taking a mindful walk will train your mind to stay in the present. We spend too much time haunted by what has passed or fearful of what is yet to happen. By simply existing in the present moment, you can help to soothe the scars you have, and hopefully they will stay smoother and blend more easily rather than be red and angry.