Friday, July 3, 2015

Tattoos, Commitment, and Saying Yes

Ever since the first time I separated from my ex, I have flirted with the idea of getting a tattoo. Back then, I always said that said tattoo would be a phoenix rising from the ashes:

Something like this, actually, but I always wanted it to be full color.
This symbol is very powerful for me, because it speaks to the process I feel that I've gone through as I've processed and healed from my divorce.  And yet, something has always held me back from actually doing it.

It has to do with the permanency of a tattoo...I'm not sure that I'm willing to commit to a mark on my skin that is going to be there for the rest of my life.  Which, really, is kind of funny, because I once committed to wearing a ring on my finger in a sign of commitment "til death do us part." And, while I was married, I pretty much didn't take it off unless my fingers were swelling. Even almost 3 years later, I can still feel a bit of the dent left by wearing a ring for almost 11 years.

However, I've begun thinking about getting a tattoo again, and much of it has to do with the time I spent with the Sisters in Chicago (This article talks about the order I was volunteering with, and this is their website).  You see, the sisters say the Angelus 3x/day, and part of it has been echoing in my heart and my mind:

Be it done 
to me according 
to Your Word.
This echo of Mary's Yes to God, it seems to me, is the heart of following Christ, and if I ever DO decide to get a tattoo, it will be of those nine momentous words.  In some ways, it would be a way of formalizing the yes I tell Him daily.   I still like the image of the Phoenix, but I'm no longer in the process of rising from the ashes.  It no longer fits, somehow.

I'm still undecided about getting any kind of tattoo, and some of it is cost.  I have a hard time justifying $100 for 9 words.  And, I keep coming back to whether I really NEED to formalize the yes I say to God.  The nice thing is that I don't have to make this decision today, or even tomorrow.  Instead, like one of the postulants told me while I was there, all I need to do is know what God wants of me right now, not 2, 3, 5, or 10 years from now.  And, that is where my daily yes comes from.  The rest will work itself out as I do what is before me in the here and now.  May we all echo Mary and say, "behold the handmaid of the Lord: be it done to me according to your word."