Because you wouldn’t listen when I tried to explain…
I get it, you were mad. It’s one of the few things you actually forbade me from doing and I’m not sorry but I do want to explain…
You see a permanent mark on my skin, something sinful and taboo, shameful even. But I see it differently. To me this is more than ink. To me this is a commitment. A commitment to myself to honor my body. To do something that I have been avoiding most of my life. It is a commitment to stay in my body, to accept my body for what it is. I haven’t always appreciated it or what it meant to have one. I, for the longest time, lived only in my head. I shunned my body and saw it more as an inconvenience, a prison that I could not escape from. I abused it beyond reason so many times and in so many ways yet it kept on providing a place to house my soul.
To me this is a gift of gratitude for my body. I guess you can blame Yoga & Jiu Jitsu. They both found me at a point where I felt like I had no purpose or meaning. I was empty and hollow, seriously pondering the reason for my existence, even with all I had in front of me I was missing something. The Dark Night of the Soul had found me and the meaning of everything in my life came into question. I was struggling not to fall into the abyss that kept pulling me closer and closer with each passing moment.
Yoga showed up and brought me back to life. I was taught how to breathe by an earth bound angel who was just as beautiful on the inside as she was on the outside. Almost if by design the universe put me in her meditation class and on the days I was there no one else was, it was like the divine had reserved this time just for me because it knew how bad I needed it. I also went to asana classes when I could and I looked forward to the end where we would lay in savasana and for a few brief seconds everything in my head would stop, there was nothing, and I had never felt so good. Yoga helped heal my sorrow and jiu jitsu brought joy back into my life. I don’t think I knew it at the time but it was the start of me falling in love with myself. For once my body was good for something and instead of feeling trapped in it I started to appreciate it and take care of it. The violent nightmares I had always had also seemed to stop at this time. Beyond that, both of these practices introduced me to wonderful people who I now consider family.
Looking back, it’s funny how both of them found me at the same time but I don’t think it was by accident. I needed both Yoga and Jiu Jitsu. Yoga pulled me out of the darkness and allowed me to let it go and Jiu Jitsu kept me from going back to it. For the first time in my life I had to inhabit my body fully, actually live there and work with it. In order to do yoga or jiu jitsu I had to anchor down into the present moment, even if it was only an hour at a time.
Jiu Jitsu also served to give me goals and motivation. I wanted to be better so I trained more. I struggled a lot at first. I had to let people into my personal space not just physically but emotionally as well. All of it though served to teach me more about myself and it reminds me that I am capable of more than I once believed.
Altogether, I began to change, I started to see, I started to see me and it no longer mattered whether I had a purpose or not because I was happy. I was able to stop searching and started living. The mark on my skin tells so many stories and its meaning is far from singular but can all be summed up as my surrender to the divine and whatever it is that it has planned for me.
If that’s not good enough reason for it, I’m not sure what is.