‘By God’s grace I am what I am’ (1 Cor 15.10). St Paul had to battle with himself to make this statement in faith. So, often enough, must we. We are conscious of all we are not; we focus on gifts we did not receive, on affection or affirmation lacking in our lives. These things sadden us. We want to make up for them. Sometimes this is reasonable. Often it is futile. The journey to self-acceptance passes through engagement with what is real. The reality of our lives embraces our contradictions and wounds. The Bible and the lives of saints show that our wounds can, by grace, become sources of healing for ourselves and for others.