I also admired how you could possibly choose something that would be on your body FOREVER. I questioned whether I had that sort of commitment being that change is my constant.
So I began to plan for a tattoo, still of the mindset that 'one day' I'd take the plunge, 'one day' that'd be me, 'one day'...
I wavered back and forth between ideas, between areas of the body that I would ink first (that's right, first because I already knew there would be more than one, there would have to be). Perhaps I'd tattoo the Om symbol, or a Sanskrit mantra, or...???
Some things I knew for sure. I would NOT be tattooing any name on my body--not even those of my children. They have me in their life, they have my love, my attention, affection, commitment, adoration...they may not have my body. They resided within me for nearly 10 months each--their claim is over.
I know some people feel drawn to have names...to each their own, really. It just simply does not speak to me...kind of makes my chest heavy a little. I thrive under my own autonomy--I can't explain it but this I know. I belong to me so that I may give to others...not belong to others.
Then I realized that I do WAY TOO MUCH TALKING in my life. I needed to commit. I set a date. This was happening.
I am turning 35 in November (November 5th) and this birthday is a big deal for me because I want to celebrate my life--I have survived against many odds and not just the 'making it' sort of survival--I thrive in my life and I love every minute, even the ones that don't come with sunshine and daisies.
And lately, within the last two years especially, I have lived with such an intensity, with purpose in my choices, my abstentions and my path. Sure I wish this would have happened sooner but it's here now and I'm on fire for my life--initiating big changes and not fearing the effects.
So there--I would have my tattoo on or before my birthday to mark this period of my life. And somehow, with that, I knew. A lotus flower.
The lotus is a symbol of beauty or light in the darkness--a flower that is rooted in the mud with a stem that travels up through the water to bloom on its surface. This is my life.
The darkness of my life has given birth to the beauty.
Having the face of the Buddha in the center of my lotus is my reminder and commitment to walk the middle way, to cultivate a heart of peace, to move past suffering and attachment.
I have two reactions when I catch sight of my tattoo--half of me softens to the meaning and the other half of me puffs out her chest for the edge of me, the yang of me is there *BAM*, bold and emblazoned on my arm. Almost suggesting, "I'm not quite who or what you think". I may be little and I may talk softly but there is a fire in me that will not stand to be underestimated...nor will she be silenced.
(Pictures of my tattoo can be found in this post).