Pain is Temporary

I met a young man at Starbucks today. He had a huge tattoo on his right arm that read PAIN IS TEMPORARY. I was waiting on my drink. He was typing away in his computer. I got close to him and said, “That’s some powerful truth right there!” As I pointed to his arm. He smiled. He showed me the other arm that coincided with that one. “They go together!” (I can’t remember what it read now). I felt he had been in the military. I am sure something in his other markings offered that knowing. I don’t notice things like that.

I thanked him. I went to sit in a corner and drink my tea. On the way out I was throwing my garbage in front of him. He thanked me again. I looked straight into his brown eyes and said, “You are a magnificent powerful soul. You are changing the world. Just your presence is an example! Please continue to rise to that essence that passes through you.”

His eyes smiled before his lips. He shook his head in agreement. He knows it. I know it. The world knows it. His story is his. His scars are there visibly seen under all his images. I’m always in awed of those who hold themselves with such power and love in spite of atrocities. I believe he had seen plenty.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get an image of his tattoo. But I didn’t have to. It’s imprinted in my memory. Pain is temporary. Nothing lasts forever.

Surviving Life

The other day, standing at the check-out aisle a man asked me if I had survived cancer.  I turned around and with a smile asked, “No!  But do you know something that I don’t? ” He said that my tattoo (which I forget I have since it’s on my back right below the neck) reminded him of someone who had survived some kind of health issue.  I smiled back and said, “I have.  I have survived life.”  He of course, smiled widely.  The cashier at this point laughed.  I continued, “We all survive life one way or another.  As magical and tender as it can be one moment, it can go sour real quick and push you over the edge.”  The cashier mumbled, “I hear you, like working in this place all day long.”

We all wear scars, some visibly while others deep seated inside the soul.  Only we know of their existence.  When we are ready to share with another the scars seem to heal slowly.  Those scars are road maps to the past.  They can guide us with strength onto the next journey.  I was raped at 18.  The scar from the violence laid silence for years inside.  It wasn’t until I allowed the secret to come out that I began to heal.  I choose not to play the role of victim but survivor.  We all survive.  We can survive with dignity and carry those battle scars with pride, or we can play the martyr and victim creating a story for the rest of our life.  Whatever you choose defines you.  There is nothing perfect in this world.  Mind, body and spirit are united to carry us through everything we do in our timelines.

Life is not symmetrical.  It isn’t perfect.  It is full of oxymoron characters, messy contradictions, juicy imperfections, scars of pain, but mostly it is filled with the awareness that the journey is always the best part.   Relish those things you enjoy.  Find freedom through forgiveness.  Wear those scars outside like a tattoo.  I love passing my hands through someone’s scars.  It allows me to be part of their survival.  You have survived every second of your life.  Don’t allow the pain to paralyze you or dictate how you will continue on this beautiful journey.  In the end, those are the moments that will carry you through the path of joy inside.  It is then that Spirit is holding your hands.   Life is to be attended through the joy and contentment of simple moments.  It can be through a conversation at the grocery store with a stranger or while holding your best friend’s hand.  Find the balance between this moment and all that awakes in you.  Experience the awakening and let it take you wherever it needs to go with scars, tattoos and all.

“It matters not what road we take but rather what we become on the journey.” – from a fortune cookie

Naked in a Tutu Getting a Tattoo

lifetattoo

Yesterday was my 46th birthday.  Truth be told, I have been celebrating all month so technically this is still the 18th day of my birthday.  The majority of people bombard me on the 17th.  I don’t think they understand the concept of how I celebrate.  Either way, I love them for the texts, calls, emails and cards. I am filled with immense gratitude.  I am a little girl at heart.  I haven’t always been like this.  Waking up after dying for a little while makes you appreciate life in a way that others cannot relate to or want to understand.  That’s okay.  That’s what makes me giggle and keep needing to hear the earth sing every morning. I wake up every day with gratitude for those songs.

Last week I was dancing in my own tutu with little girls while making fairy houses in the woods.  I went in the creek with them.  I danced down the field.  I did what I don’t ever remember doing as a child.  In my family birthdays weren’t a big thing.  They came and went with a small cake, minor recognition and a gift.  There was no party or invitation.  It wasn’t until I left my ex and my mother passed away that I decided I would make up for that.  My ex never acknowledged my birthday.  If it wasn’t about him then it really didn’t pertain to him.  So imagine 41 years of not feeling special about the day you were born?

For as long as I can remember I always wanted a tattoo.  I wanted something that spoke to me about my life.  I’ve waited.  Yesterday my best friend and daughter took me to get one.  The tattoo artists, Baker, who was awesome, said that “A tattoo is a trophy of a good experience.” As I was being shaded, the needle moving back and forth to create the red in the heart around the dragonflies I inhaled deeply and almost cried.  This was going to be my trophy for experiencing the return to my life.  Consequently, the word life is inside the heart.  I sat through him writing it on me being conscious of the letters permanently sticking to my back.  Life has a way of waking you up when you aren’t paying attention.  I am doing more and more the things I have never done.  I am moving through the phases of the dragonfly from birth into the metamorphosis of beauty while passing through love. If I believe and think myself as loved, I can love, believe and accept others. If I forgive myself, I can graciously forgive others. We cannot give what we don’t own in ourselves. If I hold compassion for me, I can surely be compassionate for others. I can give all that I am.

Wow…this is my life, full of love and dragonflies. In a way I felt I was silittlefairytting there naked, raw to the core, thinking of my tutu and dancing with the fairies.  We create from what we know and allow of ourselves.  There’s no difference between me and a homeless person or someone with a needle in their arm ready to check out of this world.  What separates us is the choices we make, the paths taken, and the awareness to continue.  That’s it.  I have been fortunate to have an amazing support system of loved ones who drag my ass out of desperation when I have slipped.

No matter what the struggle is you are still alive and can make a choice.  If you want to dance in a tutu do so.  If you want to sing in the supermarket, do it.  We are here on such little borrowed time to be able to love and enjoy one another.  Don’t let the projection of others or your own insecurities tarnish your dreams.  Go for them. Make them happen.  Now if you would excuse me I have to go find my unicorn and take a ride through the forest.  Have a magical day!

Tattoo in the Heart

If my heart was a poem

what would the words say

that hide so deeply?

What would they describe

if they were miraculously released

verse by verse,

adjectives dancing out of me

rhythmically composing

secrets of a silent soul?

I do not know for sure

but I am willing to bet

that love is written on each line

describing how I feel

full of sentiments

flowing,

following comas, periods,

and pauses

until the words find you,

tattooing themselves into your heart

while becoming

one with me…

and all the mysteries lying inside

with things I cannot verbalize.