Scars of the Past

Remains of 1897 Shipwreck still visible low tide – Higgins Beach, Maine

Remains of the 1897 Shipwreck of the coastal schooner the Howard V. Middleton, are still visible a hundred and fifteen years after. August 11, 1897, in dense fog and at full speed, the Middleton ran aground in the Atlantic Ocean on a ledge off  Higgins Beach, Scarborough, Maine.

The collision forced a fatal breach in the hull.

Its cargo of coal salvaged as were other ship board items along with personal the effects of the crew. But the ship itself was past saving. A September storm forced the wreck further onto the beach. It is still visible today along Higgins Beach at low tide.

The scars of the past stay long after the causal event.
see more pictures of Higgins Beach at my Flickr site – click here

New Orleans: Hurricane Isaac in the light of Hurricane Katrina.
As I write this, Hurricane Isaac has come ashore at New Orleans one of my very favorite Cities.

Folks in New Orleans, like many of us, bear scars of the past.

For New Orleans and much of the rest of the Country, the arrival of Hurricane Isaac is lived in the light of Katrina. Ironically Isaac made land fall seven years to the arrival of Katrina.
The scars of Katrina are many and run deep.

Our scars are many and run deep.

Like the folks in New Orleans, the scars of the past affect how we see ourselves and the world. Decisions are made in the light of memories and consequences of past situations.

Sometimes these are positive and helpful in the big picture. And sometimes not. Regardless, they are there.

For some of us, the trauma that produced our scars are due to the caprice of nature or happenings beyond our personal control.
• an accident
• illness
• birth condition
• behaviors of others
• result of work related/ life style related stress

For some of us, the trauma is directly related to our own past decisions and behaviors.

The question is not do we have scars?
It doesn’t take much living to develop wounds and experience traumas.

The question is how do we live with them?
The problem is not how to get rid of these marks of wear.
The challenge is what does it take to go forward in life with them.

In my older years, I’ve discovered that there is no magic way – no one answer.
I’ve learned through experience, however, we do it one day at a time in the light of the grace of our God and our friends.

Personally, I’ve adapted the three A’s of one of the recovery groups, as a working model for doing it one day at a time.

Aware – I realize that there are remains of the past happenings that at some of life’s low times shows themselves. Some times this is a quick realization – a sudden jolt. Some times it is dawns slowly.

Accept – this is the way it is. I’ve done what I can to “make amends.” I am responsible. In many ways, it is over and done. But in the course of life, we may be reminded of it. The “record” if you will is still there, perhaps officially and perhaps only in your memory. Perhaps we look at ourselves and are reminded regularly.

The truth is we can’t get rid of them not matter how much we want them gone. Acceptance then is the answer.

Adapt – scars are one of those givens in life. The key for me is to move beyond awareness and acceptance and adapt.

Wow – this gets long. I’ll save my thoughts on “adapting life’s givens” for another post.
I’ll end here.

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