Benjamin Button

Some days I feel like Benjamin Button; that perhaps my life is growing in reverse. That instead of growing older as the time goes by, I grow younger, day by day. It is a pleasant thought, to think of life in this way. To think that perhaps my “old age” has been all about the demise of my life; all about the surgeries and abuse and hurt and pain. And that perhaps my younger years are still to come. That my younger years are not necessarily the days when I am more youthful, or more carefree in the traditional sense. But that growing younger in fact means growing into and experiencing a time of joy and renewal. A time that is carefree in the sense that it is no longer marred by abuse.

Hurt has taught me the wisdom of old age. All my life it has molded me, shaped me, and twisted me into a human being with a crippled self-confidence and a withered heart. But now I am growing younger. Each year, each day, as I cast off a little more of the lingering effects of abuse, it is like regaining my childhood. Renewing my soul, energizing my heart, and experiencing the joy I never felt during childhood years. The more I heal, the more I take back the natural innocence of my soul for myself. I am reversing the tarnish. I do not grow more bitter and ruined with time, instead I cast that all off, for the joys of childhood.

Yes, I think that I must be growing younger, growing in reverse. The best years of my life have not passed, they are still to come. I think this must be the plan. Or well, I hope. I can only hope.

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Lessons from Nature

Did you know that if you cut a branch off a Cottonwood tree, the insides of the broken pieces reveal a perfect star? That’s right, cutting this tree, breaking this tree, “ruining” this tree, just reveals a different kind of beauty, hidden, that lies underneath the obvious. A beauty that is only revealed if the tree is first scarred.

This example makes me think that perhaps my scars are just making room for a different type of beauty. Perhaps they will, like the Cottonwood, quite literally reveal the star beneath. That inner strength and marvel that leads to new life.

For the tree, with each layer peeled away, new beauty is revealed. Each stripping of the bark feeds an animal. Each burning away by fire gives room to the ground for new nutrients. Each fallen tree gives life to new growth.

Each scar leaves behind a star. To remind us of all the beauty still remaining. A reminder that all is not lost. We have only to peel away our outward layers of hurt, to reveal the star underneath.