Badges of Honour

At one point this morning I thought about the little age spots appearing on my hands and I smiled.

Looking at my hands, my thoughts turned to my great-aunt Ettie, a wonderful woman, an extraordinary woman, who had grandmother hands. Her hands had birthed hundreds of infants, baked zillions of pies and cookies, fed many flocks of chickens, cared for flowers and for her family, and, oh the list goes on.

My great-aunt Ettie had many badges of honour, besides her hands. Although I’m sure she had physical scars from events in her life, I don’t think I ever saw them. What I did see were wrinkles, glorious wrinkles that reflected the love she had to share. They symbolized the caring and nurturing she had done throughout her life. They showed the years of work, hard work, she had done over her lifetime, caring for her family and her community. And most of all – they spoke of her Wisdom, the knowledge and insights she had gained throughout her life.

In our society, today, we try to hide our badges of honour, pretending that we are living in our years of youth. The sad part of this is that we are perhaps embarrassed by our pasts and our wounds.

My journey over the past several years has taught me to celebrate the wisdom learned from our pasts and let go of the negative emotions that we have attached to our experiences. And then, looking at those badges of honour that appear on our bodies we can see them as symbols of the experiences and the Wisdom that we have gained.

Looking at my hands now, I see the life experiences that I have had, the Wisdom that I have gained and I am proud of the woman that I have become. My body and I have experienced over 52 years of life and there is a lot more to come, a lot more experiences and a lot more Wisdom — AND a lot more badges of honour.

And I celebrate this!

~ Debbie, “The Journey Within “
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