The one about Agape and Tattoos, Part Two.

 

So, I had a mystical experience.  And I wanted to always remember it. Given I’m a vegetarian I am not going to cut animals in half and dance around in the middle of them, I decided to get a tattoo instead.

And you know what I found out?

People love their opinions.

I actually wanted to get it 6 months before I actually did. I confided my plan in a work friend, who told me that tattoos (in the place I planned to get it) were ‘trashy and bogan’, and I would look like a skanky whore.

YOU DONT WANT TO LOOK LIKE A SKANKY WHORE, DO YOU???

Well no, I really didn’t, thank you very much. So I decided not to get it. Phew, lucky escape!

(Although whorishness would be quite biblical, now I come to think of it)

So I didnt.

But I really wanted to, you see.

I suppose I hadn’t quite realised how much I worried about what other people think of me. A lot, apparently.

And the irony of being given a manifest example of God’s unconditional love, yet still tying myself in knots about what one person thought of me, will be apparent, of course.

Anyway, after a little chat with my soul, I went ‘Fuck it’. And I’m really glad I did.

I love it so much. LOVE IT.

image

(In your face, Leviticus 19:28)

And when I told my friend about it, she said ‘Well that is very ugly. I was right’, and then she enlisted some other people to laugh about it, and tell her how funny she was, and agree with her that it was the worst decision I’d ever made and omg what is wrong with me, don’t I have any sense of humour at all, just relax jeez.

So after various other machinations that are just too exhausting  and ridiculous to recount, I told her that didn’t really want to spend that much time with her anymore. And that, in turn, caused her to spiral into a fairly unstable mess. Which I do feel bad about, because I never want to be the source of anyone else’s distress

I suppose there are a few things that could be explored here. We could examine the fact that, despite God’s overwhelming love, we all act badly sometimes. We could look at how hard it is for us to believe in ourselves. Or the fact that just listening to someones idea and supporting them is usually the right thing to do and telling people that their tattoo is ugly is always a bad idea, because they are kind of permanent, you know?

But probably, at this moment in my life, the thing that I need to really think about is that, despite the fact that I think I actually experienced God’s manifest and unconditional love, I still worried what people would think of me, and I still didn’t act in a very forgiving manner towards someone.

Seriously though. The ultimate creative energy that formed the entire universe thinks that I am pretty great, and some woman that I didn’t even know that well completely threw me off my game, and as I result I acted in a pretty unloving way, because my ego was hurt.

My ego calls far too many of the shots, I’m afraid. It’s the worst.

Fuck, we are just so very human, aren’t we? Just so incredibly moral, so much of the time. Of course, though. Of course we are. We’re supposed to be. That’s the point, isn’t it.

But is standing up for what is ‘best’ for yourself, but at the same time hurting someone else, exactly the opposite of the love that we are meant to show for other people?  Surely a learning experience that started with my discovering the ultimate source of pure love should not have ended with me wanting to have nothing to do with someone ever again. I don’t want to have to go all Luke 6:29, but I can’t help but think that this was the sort of thing that was being referred to; showing unconditional acceptance, even in the face of exactly the opposite.

Maybe I’ll do better next time?

But, as Richard Rohr says; ‘The ego hates losing – even to God’.

Hmmm, maybe that quote should be my next tattoo…

 

 

 

12 thoughts on “The one about Agape and Tattoos, Part Two.

  1. For the longest time, people have turned up at sporting events (!) bearing placards proclaiming “John 3:16”. Perhaps you should start a new trend with signs displaying Richard Rohr quotes. On the plus side, less painful and more visible than tattoos; on the minus, you’d need big placards with associated costs for sticks, cardboard and paint.

  2. You are amazing. I learn so much from you and I am thankful for that. I would have told you to get the tattoo because your body, your choice. And, I wish I had the courage to get one. My kids keep trying to get me to get their initial or something like that. I keep thinking I am way too old to do it. 🙂 My son has 4 tats and both my daughters have 3. I love them all because they picked things that represented them. They even have matching tats that are different colors and have a small Roman Numeral to represent their birth order.

  3. I’m afraid I must be missing something – how is getting an “agape” tattoo on your forearm being a “skanky whore”? If it said something else (I won’t give an example!) and you had it placed somewhere else (and I certainly won’t give an example!), maybe, but ….??

    But on more important matters, I think one of the purposes of life is to learn from our mistakes as well as our successes, to forgive, apologise, love and learn patience. Most of us get many opportunities for all those things, and the good thing is, if we miss one opportunity there’ll be another.

    “I actually experienced God’s manifest and unconditional love, I still worried what people would think of me, and I still didn’t act in a very forgiving manner towards someone” is a realisation that some people never catch onto, so you’re way ahead! 🙂

  4. “But is standing up for what is ‘best’ for yourself, but at the same time hurting someone else, exactly the opposite of the love that we are meant to show for other people? Surely a learning experience that started with my discovering the ultimate source of pure love should not have ended with me wanting to have nothing to do with someone ever again. I don’t want to have to go all Luke 6:29, but I can’t help but think that this was the sort of thing that was being referred to; showing unconditional acceptance, even in the face of exactly the opposite.”

    Honestly, I think you’re blaming yourself too much. If you don’t want to spend time with someone because they’re being horrible to you for no reason and then trying to blame you for being too sensitive… this isn’t your fault. They control their own actions, not you. I think deciding not to spend time with them was a wise decision.

    • I’m in two minds whether it was the right thing, but I dealt with it in the way that felt best at the time, so I’ll have to live with it, I guess.

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