Here's a photo I took back in 2013 while out enjoying nature.
First, before I talk about this photo, let me say how important it is to get outside and just breath fresh air, connect with nature, go on walks, get moving, find some quiet, just rest your busy brains. Both exercising and resting your body are important to your physical health, but their also important to your mental health. Seeing new things out in nature, and giving your mind the opportunity to experience things that you don't normally get to experience, is unbelievably good exercise for your brain. But the interesting thing is, you're actually resting your brain, to a large extent, simultaneously, because you're away from all of the busy, overstimulating, daily activities that are constantly stressing your brain out. So get out into nature and relax a bit, you'll feel much better.
But back to this photo I took.... this is a picture of a burl on a tree. Now, a burl is a growth on a tree. Sort of like scars in humans. It can form where an animal hollowed out a spot on a tree, or where a human pruned the tree, or some sort of irritation like bacterium, etc. While burls don't typically tree don't typically "harm" or interrupt the growth of a tree, some people may see them and think "what's wrong with that tree" or "that tree is ugly". However, burls can actually be very valuable. Some people see a beauty in burls and will pay lots of money for one to incorporate into their log cabin aesthetics, or to have a piece of accent furniture created from one, etc.
The point is, you may have scars, specifically emotional scars. And some people may think you have something wrong, or that you're ugly. But your scars are simply a remnant of your past. When you surround yourself with the right people, they will see your scars as moments where you overcame life's greatest obstacles, and they will celebrate with you how far you've come. But the first step is to believe in yourself first! Acknowledging that you are beautiful just as you are. You are strong. You can grow and prosper.
Every day is a new day. And even though we have burls, with loving ourselves, with conjuring up strength to push forward, and by choosing to surround ourselves with kind and loving people, we can persevere.
Today starts a new year, so there is no better time than now to set yourself on a path to better health. Start now!