What I Learned From Getting A Tattoo

Posted on Posted in happiness, Health, Life

I Choose. I Am. Breathe.

We’re almost at the end of our Melbourne trip, it’s been massive, exhausting, emotional in many ways yet really, really awesome.

Melbourne is where I originally settled after my travels around Australia – although I am not sure Oz will ever feel truly like home to me oddly the UK doesn’t either now. But Melbourne is where I belong. It fit’s me, it suits me. I feel different here. Good different.

Yesterday we headed bay side to see friends who I met in my early Melbourne days. Between us we have many children, there has been cancer – both remission and very sadly recurrence. We have all changed our lifestyles in many ways to meet our changing bodies and life demands, there has been more than one divorce, the passing of parents and remarrying, the challenges of separated families and everything else in  between that life chucks at us! Yet underneath we are the same. We fall back into easy chats and laughs.

One of my friends asked me about my tattoo. I don’t think about it too often these days, it’s been there for a long time now. After we said our goodbyes it was interesting to reflect on the time I got it and see it together with my life at the time.

My tattoo is words that, at the time I choose because I wanted to live by them, be reminded every day that I can choose how to feel, that I am enough and that this moment is the only reality we have. 

Yet when I look back to that time I can now see very clearly that everything I was doing was about changing my external environment.

I was attempting to make everything around me perfect because inside I felt so … lost, disconnected, imperfect, wrong, sad. I was in turmoil and in pain.

Looking back it’s easier to see, of course, than at the time. I was clinging to any kind of life raft that sailed by. I was making a lot of noise about everything but what I really needed to look at.


A tattoo was something I had always wanted to get, though when I was young and reckless always stopped at getting one – believing I would regret it. I made a deal that if I still wanted one when I hit my 30’s then I would.

My tattoo now represents something new. The words still mean something although I have done so much ‘work’ on myself that I know simply reminding myself to do and feel a certain way something is only the first bit. The easy bit.

Now I know that if I find myself trying to change my external environment then I must stop and inquire. Is there something I need to acknowledge within myself. Is there something that needs to be released, let go, healed.

The work is always on yourself.
You can only change you.
You can only change how you view your external environment…because what you see is not a reflection of the truth…
it is a reflection of who you are.

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