Sunday, August 12, 2018

Authenticity

Did you know I have two tattoos?  They have been apart of my life since I was 14idh, I don’t remember my exact age. I do remember the day I got them. My brother and his friend were in my sisters old room giving themselves tattoos. I wanted one! I chose a rain cloud with rain drops. Kind of like the emoji on Apple phones now. The second,a heart, it scared and the right hump of the heart didn’t take. My mom was livid when she found out.
I have gone through phases with the tattoos. First they were so cool! Who else at my age had a tattoo?   Then I went through a phase of being embarrassed of them. Especially when I became active again in my church. It use to anger me when people would point them out with, oh you have a tattoo?, what is that (pointing at my ankle), youuu haaave aaa taaattoooo?! The tones were different depending on the person. Some times the tones were shocked, surprised, rebellious, horrified, but all had a judgement attached to them. That was what was hard. Especially as someone coming back into activity in my church. I use to always make my husband sit on my left so when I crossed my legs I could tuck my right ankle behind his right calf. If he wasn’t around I never sat with my right leg crossed on top. I hated when someone I was sitting by would notice them. Usually this is how it went down, during a lesson they nudge me, point toward what I thought first was the ground and I would look, look back at them not following them, they point more clearly at the object which I would realize is my ankle with the tattoos. My heart would sink because questions would follow. Questions I didn’t feel most people were entitled to ask or deserving of knowing the answers to. I am sure my body language would communicate my discomfort. I went a large part of my twenties wanting them removed, but we didn’t have the means or services to do so. I am glad though now that I didn’t have them removed. I don’t love my tattoos, nor do I want my kids to have them. I view these markings now as what they are mistakes in my youth when I didn’t know better. I actually have a lot of those, but all the rest aren’t tattooed on my body, for which I am grateful.
These tattoos are one of my filtering systems. I filter who I give of my energy to, based on if they bring up my tattoos, their response to them, their body language. Maybe this is wrong, but at this point in my life I have learned those who have negative responses to my tattoos are not worth my energy. I have not listened before to only have trouble come and relationships not last.  Through my adulthood I have been in search of authentic people. It is more important to me now more than ever. I try to be my authentic self and be authentic in my dealings. I want the same, there is just too much let down when you discover people who are not authentic and the energy and time wasted that was put into them. I am not perfect and I don’t want perfect people in my life. I want people to feel comfortable to be whoever they are around me. Even if it isn’t the prettiest. Just be authentic!  I am a work in progress in constant progress. I try to overcome my short comings and in doing so I have a bumpy road of mess ups and having it together times trailing behind me. I need people who are okay with this and also having their perfect image not be so perfect. The freedom that comes from being authentic and being around authentic people is well, freeing. Being authentic is something constantly sought after because this world has so many forces telling me what to be, feel, and act like. Authenticity is all I want for me and those around me.

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