A few months ago, I was at a low point of an almost four-year journey of change, self-discovery and loss. It was painful. Then two characters on my favorite TV show had a heart-wrenching scene about loss and pain and while it was a different context the words spoken, “Wounds heal, into scars, that fade in time,” resonated so deeply with me. It didn’t make the pain go away, but I felt seen, understood, like I wasn’t the only one going through something.
Wounds and the scars they leave behind aren’t always a bad thing. They are a reminder of what we’ve been through, what we’ve overcome, of what made us stronger, wiser and who we are now. Some scars are a sign of transformation into one’s true self.
Initially I thought about getting the first part of that message “wounds heal” tattooed, as a simple but permanent reminder for myself. All the tattoos I have are reminders to myself to be brave or that home is a feeling rather than a place.
I also liked the idea of refocus bands that have individual designs on one side and then you flip it to read the message on the other side. So, instead of doing something just for myself, I thought that this was a great way to share these words with others who felt they needed to hold them close too.
I chose a design that is based on human blood vessels, because we’re all human. If we get hurt, we bleed. We all have moments of vulnerability, we all struggle. Sometimes our wounds are physical and for others to see and understand, but more often they are emotional. Only we and the people we let in know they exist. They don’t always show on our skin, or they’re hidden out of fear of judgement and stigma.
But times are changing. People are starting to use their platforms to talk openly about their struggles, to help others find the same courage to open up and seek the support they need to heal too. Being wounded is not a sign of weakness but rather strength. Admitting vulnerably is incredibly brave. And that bravery deserves to be shown, to be carried with pride.
I share the bracelets with people I love and admire for their strength and compassion. I share them with friends and family. I hold giveaways online to reach people, always with a different theme or focus, for example asking what they are thankful for. Sometimes I ask people to nominate someone they feel should receive one. It’s always incredibly hard to pick, because there’s so much love and kindness.
Most of all, I love giving them to people in person, to see the reaction in their eyes, the happiness at being seen, understood, appreciated and loved. Knowing they have something to hold onto to remind them, that pain won’t last, that they will be stronger in the end.
It might be a bit selfish because it makes me feel good too, like I have a purpose. I’m truly grateful that I’m able to give back and I hope I can keep doing it in many ways for as long as I can.