Yesterday I had my hair up and I was trying on a dress (yes a dress) for the first time in years, and in the mirror I saw the tattoo on the back of my neck. The picture to your left is a photo of my tattoo. I have written about my tattoo before, but it's been a while, and yesterday I was reminded why I got it, and what it means to me.
I sometimes forget that I have it, unless someone randomly asks me "hey what does your tattoo mean?" - it means "Faith, courage, Wisdom.
I got this tattoo almost 4 years ago, and it's one of the most liberating things I have ever done. I got it as a symbol of my healing - Having the Faith to heal, The courage to have voice, and the wisdom I have learned along the way.
Yesterday when I saw it, I smiled. I was reminded of that very day of sitting in that chair at the tattoo parlor with my husband bent over, grabbing onto my husband's leg while the pain went right through me from the top of my neck, right to the bottom of my feet.
The pain was different, it was the kind of pain that had healing behind it.
It was the kind of pain that was stating that my voice is louder than the past, and I have empowerment of this choice I am making.
The pain was knowing this was going to be a mark that I would hold the rest of my life; a constant reminder of where I am in this journey both good and bad - hard and easy - sad and joyful.
Sometimes when we are going through a tough time, we tend to forget all the little things around us that keep us grounded.
The reminder that I have a beautiful family. A reminder that I have friends who love me fully for who I am. I have a GOD who never fails me. I have my healing path in front of me that God created, and the therapist who I adore and trust every day I work with him.
I am reminded that even in the hard days, there is grace all around me.
I am reminded of that when my husband holds me and rocks me and says "I love you and everything is going to be ok" when I am having a hard time.
I think we shut our eyes to those reminders around us sometimes. I think sometimes the hard consumes us so much that we forget to pull ourselves into the now and say "what am I grateful for? who do I have by my side, what did God give me? and look at the possibilities right in front of me to grab at anytime".
I am guilty of just that sometimes; being consumed in the hard, and then I blink my eyes a couple of times and say "Hey that's right, I am strong, I can get through this, and I have the best people God gave me to walk this path with.
When I saw my tattoo in the mirror, my heart smiled - I felt it was almost as if God was reminding me "Karen, you have Faith, you have courage, and you have wisdom".
Out of no where yesterday my Therapist said to me "Hey, everything is going to be okay, nothing has changed, you are safe here, you're loved and cared for, and we will continue to turn our face towards the sun (your healing path). He quoted from the bible:
Ezekiel 21:2 - "Son of man, set your face toward Jerusalem, and drop your word toward the holy places, and prophesy against the land of Israel"
Meaning - lets turn our face to the sun of your healing, and leave behind whatever of which tries to take me off that path.
t's a beautiful verse and yet another reminder.
One thing I have learned about this healing path and working through this for many years is that - it's not easy, but when it's the hardest, that is when the most healing is taking place.
So today I am going to keep reminding myself of all the things around me. I will remind myself that even in hard times on this path, sad times, or when I am not feeling as strong - that grace can be found right in the middle of the hard, and all I have to do is look at the beautiful tattoo on my neck that reminds me:
I have the FAITH to heal, the courage to have a voice, and the wisdom I carry along the way.