Choosing your tattoos

Full disclosure:  I have never entertained the idea of having a tattoo.  Partly because I assume it must hurt and who needs to pay for more hurt, and because I can't escape the visual in my head of the tattoo shifting and changing as my body ages.  Skin wrinkling, sagging until there is only a multi-coloured blob that swims as I move.

For the record:  I love your tattoos, the brilliant three-dimensional dragon-fly and the delicate little heart, and all the other personal statements my friends have decorated their bodies with.  This is not an anti-tattoo blog!

Warning:  To my family, by the time this blog is finished I might have talked myself into a tattoo.

Thanks to Lianne Sinclair for sharing her dragonfly tattoo photo
It began when I was watching Oprah's Masterclass with Susan Sarandon.  Susan had a tattoo on her wrist.  It was a series of words that wrapped her wrist in a fine bracelet reminding her constantly of "a new dawn a new day."  She explained she had chosen the tattoo during a difficult time in her life when she needed to remember everyday is a new chance.  It was powerful to see and hear how that simple bluish band of words around her wrist provided hope.  Then I noticed that she was wearing two different earrings and I fell in love with her.

I started thinking if I ever got a tattoo what would I get?  What might be worth the pain, expense, and permanence of a tattoo?  My tattoo would be words, because words are my fuel.  Words play in my head and spill over all day.  They bust out of me in appropriate and inappropriate ways.  Some people have that experience with music, words are my music.  I am drawn to the wall hangings in Winners with sayings and I have to restrain myself or the walls of the house would resemble a page in a scrapbook.

Later, I listened to Jen Hatmaker's podcast for the first time.  She interviewed Melissa Radke; a beautiful, intelligent, funny, and gifted speaker/singer/mum.  Melissa told stories of working in the music industry in Nashville for years and repeatedly being told how talented she was but also how fat and ugly.  The stories were horrible.  I was torn between not wanting to listen because they were so painful and needing to listen because sometimes we have to face cruelty head-on and that means listening so we can understand.

Melissa talked about choosing your tattoos; deciding which words you are going to release and which you will keep.  She  shared how we need to choose the words and images we are going to emblazon on our lives, our souls, and our skin.  Hurtful words cling to us and even if we haven't physically tattooed them on our skin, they cling like parasites.  We all know the words of others especially the harsh unkind ones stick to our souls.  We can be guilty of delivering those words to others, the ones that eat away at confidence and taunt us in our weakness.

Choosing our tattoos means intentionally delivering words of love and kindness to others and choosing the words we are going to allow to remain in our own life, clinging to our soul and skin.  Choose your tattoos, choose your words.  Choose to bring healing and love in your own life and let it spill over to others.  You are Beautiful

Thanks for reading, sharing, liking, and commenting!  Feel free to share with your friends if you have been encouraged or inspired.