Psycho-Cybernetics Part 19 of 30: Getting Rid of Emotional Scars
June 4, 2009 by Dr. Lam
We have addressed this topic through many great thinkers these past few months. In particular, Miguel Ruiz has helped me understand the power of past emotional scars and the wounds that they create in us. Who better to explore the topic of a scar than a famed plastic surgeon, Maxwell Maltz. He uses the idea that a scar really can be viewed as a favorable response to injury in that it represents thicker collagen tissue that resists further injury. For example, a callus that develops on a toe from repeated walking in hard gravel would lead to protection from pain and hurt in the future. However, similarly, when we get hurt, our emotional scar tissue forms a thick barrier between us and others. We don’t allow others to touch us in ways that would cause pain. Accordingly, we isolate ourselves to avoid this pain. We are particularly sensitive because we take things personally (sound familiar? if not, reread The 4 Agreements, which have been life changing for me and which I covered in a blog series a few months ago). From a small and wounded ego we allow things to affect us.
Someone asked Maltz then how does a plastic surgeon avoid scar tissue? Maltz responded that a plastic surgeon does create scar tissue but there is not obvious external scars. I like the old joke: what is the definition of plastic surgery? All it is is surgery done right. I use that all the time…which is true. When i make a cut, I follow relaxed skin tension lines, how the collagen bundles move. I cut out 3:1 ellipses and hide it along subunits of the face. I remove tissues in subunits to hide them. I undermine tissue to remove tension. I use multiple layer closures. I use skin eversion and non tissue reacting sutures. I borrow tissue to fill in tissues that have a similar color and texture match, etc. The point is that a plastic surgeon can make a cut without scar tissue because these techniques minimize tension on a wound. Without tension, a wound heals appropriately. Similarly, when we have a strong self image and self identity, nothing can really wound us because there is no tension. We can be our own plastic surgeons. Tomorrow we will talk about how to perform our own emotional facelift according to Maltz’s principles.