I've always had bruises on my body. Probably because I'm always perpetually in motion looking for the next adventure. But, I'm also perpetually uncoordinated. And stubborn. So, while grace doesn't come to me naturally, challenging myself does. Most of the time I think I do it to prove to myself that I can. Other times, I think I do it to prove to myself I can't. Both look pretty much the same from the outside. Bruised.
The thing about bruises is, you earn them. Either by not believing in yourself or by striving to do better. The former is easy, the later must be earned by commitment and hard work. It also means making a lot of mistakes, embarrassing yourself, falling and hurting yourself. Which just seems so similar to failing.
Except, you get up and do it over again. And again. And again. Each time doing just a bit better than the time before. Even though the falls are destined to get harder and the bruises get bigger along the way. Eventually, there comes a point where you can't be any more embarrassed or any more battered than you already are. That's when you stop being controlled by that thing that's holding you back. And that's you. Doubting whether it's even worth it. Or that you're capable of it. Because now, you can't deny that it is. And you are.
You bask in your new found clarity and the bruises you've accumulated are the relics of your journey. But, it's not over yet. The bruises fester and beg you to pick them. And you secretly crave the comfort that the familiar sting will bring. But, knowing if you do, it'll take even longer to heal this time, if it does at all. If you fail yourself this time, it could scar you permanently. So you keep on striving. Bruised, but not broken.