How to Open Up to Life After a Trauma


Life will give you wrinkles, they are nothing but signs of your resiliency


Last year, we bought a new set of dishes. New, shiny white dishes that gleamed.

wrinklesBut soon, the scratches came. At first, a few lines appeared like veins over your heart. Then they seemed to pour out. Within a year, our plates are riddled with what looks like pencil thin wrinkles.

Some of us are preoccupied with our wrinkles, our age lines, and our bags. Wrinkles are nothing but a sign of how we embrace our world. It is not age that leaves behind the wrinkles, age simply increases the depth of the lines.

Your wrinkles sing, just like the grooves on a piece of round black vinyl. Skin thickens with time, revealing more of what is deep within. Time spreads the scales to where they are most needed, leaving behind vulnerabilities and blind spots. Your wrinkles sing of your depth and your softness.

Truth is, the older we get, the more we need each other. My wrinkles are natures post-it notes, reminding you that I may look wiser, but that just means I am also more vulnerable, and I need you whether I say it or not.

Wrinkles are nothing but a sign of how we embrace our world.

Wrinkles are a sign that you have opened up and let life get real close and personal. And sometimes it hurts.

We all know that you can’t run from your wrinkles. You carry them with you like a walking fingerprint. No two wrinkles are alike.

Four things about wrinkles and recovery

1.Whether you are recovering from cancer, from cocaine addiction or from chronic depression, you will be left with a fresh set of nature’s data lines on your skin. Don’t fret. Your wrinkles send signals to other people that you are alive and at work. New territory is being taken, and then re-taken.

2.Your wrinkles are lines of experience that you can share with those around you. They are your unique song, like a life-sized signature. Embrace the memories, the broken lines, the scars that appear across the pages of your life. Wrinkles, scars, and broken lines will stretch your life into something more than you would have been without them. Rather than your life being spilled out, you now have a greater capacity to hold more of what life can offer.

You are meant to hold a healthy set of wrinkles because that is how you leave your mark on those around you.

3.Your wrinkles show your vulnerabilities. You are getting older. And so am I. We hide it, avoid it, and we change the subject, but just like vinyl our lines don’t lie. Your vulnerabilities are not signs that you are broken and weak, but rather that you are strong and able but also in need of other people. Trust me, it is far easier and safer to avoid people and avoid the risks involved in trust. But then your skin becomes too thin to hold much of anything.

4.Remember that you take your wrinkles with you.  You are meant to hold a healthy set of wrinkles because that is how you leave your mark on those around you. Addiction, cancer, depression, anxiety, racing thoughts, and obsessions will each leave a different set of wrinkles. Like the richness of vinyl, wrinkles help to tell our story. Your wrinkles are a declaration that you have been broken, and you are wiser for it.

My wife and I are talking about getting a new set of dishes, but only for the fancy occasions. We are keeping the wrinkled dishes because they are ours. Unmarked dishes can be found in any box store. The scratches make the dishes real and personal, and they mark our memories.

Today, let your wrinkles and your scars sing. Celebrate them. If you like this piece, you will love To Heal, You Must Become the Art.

I write articles about wellness, leadership, parenting and personal growth. My hope is to deliver the best content I can to inspire, to inform and to entertain. Sign up for my blog if you want to receive the latest and best of my writing.

Lastly, if you like my writing, you can click here to vote for my page on Psych Central’s list of mental health blogs.

Keep it Real

Photo by AJ Leon

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