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Grace reminds us of the beauty in the scars.

“Dad, you’re so lucky.”

I heard these words while preparing for a business trip. Recognizing the truth within them transformed the way I saw myself that day. Embracing the truth within them will elevate the way you view yourself today. Let me explain.

I was racing around my bedroom packing clothes into a well-traveled suitcase. The words were spoken by my then six-year-old daughter, Grace. At this age, she loved hanging out with me. Walking the dog, shooting baskets, setting the table, or just having a tea party. She wanted to soak up time together so much that she even helped me pack for every trip.

On this evening, she sat with her legs crossed on the floor as I packed. She followed as I moved from my drawers, to the suitcase, then to the closet, and back again. Observing, her little voice cut through the silence. “Dad, you’re so lucky.”

I stopped racing around and looked at her, blond hair flipping over her shoulders, blue eyes sparkling through her pink glasses. I asked why she thinks that and she responded, “Everybody else I know looks the same. But you. You have all kinds of cool colors and designs on your arms. Like, your scars have lots of reds and purples and tans.” She paused for a moment, still staring, and added, “I just think you’re so lucky.”


Nobody desires to go through something that leaves behind a painful reminder of what changed, what could have been, and how differently things ended up from what was planned. Nobody desires scars that cover not only the entirety of their arms, but their entire body.

And yet, my little one saw my scars not as something to cover up or hide from or wish away, but as something to celebrate, something that sets me apart and something to rejoice in.

My friends, how do you view your scars?

How do you view the things that make you different? How do you perceive life circumstances that caused you pain? How do you view your life when it veered in a direction radically different than the one you desired?

One response is to curse the scars.

We can remain angry at our difficult upbringing, past circumstances or current plight. We can hold fast to animosity directed at others or the profound disappointment we carry over our own missteps.

And yet, my friends, scars are inevitable. And there is another way to view them.

Today, choose to view your scars – the ones you wear on the outside and those you guard on the inside – as gifts.

See them and be reminded that they exist because the wounds have healed, the battle has been won, and the best is yet come. Use them as reminders of lessons learned, character forged, friends made and compassion and humility sparked.

When you choose to view your scars like that, you’ll be free to hold them up high, celebrate what you went through, and remind the rest of the world know how lucky they are, too.

Just ask Grace.

This is your day. Live Inspired.

9 replies on “What Are You Lucky For?”

I will take it one step farther than “Lucky”. God has blessed my family and I far more than we deserve. If we really stop and look around us and evaluate what God has entrusted with, it is very humbling. Please continue to inspire us, John!

“Dad (John O’Leary), you are so lucky”. You are lucky to have such well minded and grounded kids to be able to say that! Carry on John, you are the best. And blessed your lovely family for embracing life like you do!

As an advocate of social skills training, I heartily agree that those with visible and invisible scars can embrace them, and be proud of their journey. Using STEPS…Self talk, Tone of voice, Eye Contact, Posture, and Smile all contribute to feeling comfortable and confident in every work, school, and social situation.

John my burn scars represent an early time in my life where I was challenged to the max on all fronts. I now wear short sleeve shirts for my comfort living in the south where it’ gets humid and hot temperatures for most of the year. For me they now are my internal pride of overcoming a difficult situation and a way of showing that I fully accept and appreciate them. They are now my conversing that allows me to go out in the world and do the things I enjoy in the world with out having a lot of restrictions of movement that bandages can present. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and story about Grace’s view point of what she see’s in them.

Starting the week grace and humility, thanks John for sharing your incredible journey. I have had recent life altering leg surgeries and yet you help me look at my scars as blessings and anger as a lighthearted way to embrace these very blessings.

I had the blessing of hearing John speak at Dot Foods’ national business meeting. For the past several weeks, I have waited in anticipation for his words of encouragement – or enlightenment – each Monday morning. Thank you for your genuine care of others – it shines so bright and is truly guiding many of us who walk in darkness.

Comments are so true. Wise beyond her age. I too was burned over 36 percent of my body. We are lucky just to be here. Thank you for the inspiration today. Live life to the fullest and embrace your scars.

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