When I was in high school, I had a friend that had this small, red heart tattoo on her ankle. I never asked her about it, whether it had any significance or why she wanted it, but I do remember that I was in awe of it and that it would be something I would like to have.
Fast forward 30+ years. I continued to admire others’ ink so about a year ago I started a new category on my Pinterest account and called it “Hmmmm”. My ex didn’t like tattoos so I hadn’t ever done anything about wanting one. After visiting a tattoo shop with my daughter while she was getting a piercing, I realized that it wasn’t as scary as I thought. I am my own person and I wanted something that would represent my strength, regardless of what life has dealt me. Does that mean it would be a constant reminder of what happened in my life? No, as it depends on the perspective of the situation. Was I doing it out of spite? Absolutely not. This was 100% for me. I started small and a few tattoos that focused on strength caught my eye.
And then I saw this one.
I did some research and found the Story of the Lotus where it explained that the lotus flower begins to sprout underwater, surrounded by mud, muck, fish, insects . . . you know, basically a dirty and rough environment. But despite its living conditions, it pushes to the surface and, as the article says, “rises from adversity.” It goes on to talk about Buddhism and says this: “… the bud of the lotus symbolizes potential. The lotus flower represents an awakening, spiritual growth, and enlightenment. Just as the lotus flower emerges from the water clean, the lotus also represents purity of body, speech, and mind. The lotus could be thought of as an awakened mind, which grows naturally toward the warmth and light of truth, love and compassion. The lotus may appear fragile on the surface, but it is flexible and strong, securely anchored under the surface of the water.” Cool.
Then I found this article on Lotus Flower Meanings. I love this part: “Let’s face it. Poop happens. It’s what we make of a poopy situation that counts. Sure… we can crawl under our misery, never lifting our heads to the light that beckons us. That’s always an option. Or, we can be like the lotus. We can make the best of our crummy environment and rise above. Lotus flower meanings are all about aspiring to express, to live, to share beauty.” Wow — I had plenty to hide my head about and the rejection I had experienced certainly made me want to never lift my head again. I am embarrassed that my marriage failed, but marriage takes a partnership and that didn’t exist anymore in mine (not by choice, I might add). I have decided that I wasn’t going to let that situation in which I had no say define who I am or what’s going to happen for the rest of my life. I can relate to what this beautiful flower represents and I wanted this symbol permanently etched upon myself. So, on March 7, 2015, I walked into that tattoo parlor and in about 15 minutes, it was complete.
It’s been over a year and I still love my flower. In fact, I’m going to get another tattoo on my wrist but I’m going to let the artist design it using the elements I want. We’ll see how that turns out!