Tattoos are often used as a stamp of some sort of independence, or significance, or boredom, and are a mark that is intended to stay on the skin forever.
Just like this pigment inserted into the punctures of our skin, we also have metaphorical tattoos that we carry with us, that define who we are, and what we present to the world.
I started thinking about this recently, after I began listening to a Portuguese artist with a song called “tatuagens” (tattoos).
The title got me thinking about what marks you might carry with you, that will be with you forever?
Aside from any visual tattoos you may have had printed on your skin, are there internal or mental tattoos that you know you hold on to, and will never give up?
I’m stubborn, and often impatient, and it’s a tattoo that is part genetic and part my own personality, and while this tattoo will always be a part of me, I can choose whether or not to let it rule my life.
My instinct will always tell me to rush, or stick to what I think I know instead of understanding others, and while this tattoo may sometimes get me places more quickly, will I be able to appreciate those places once I get there?
If my tattoo always has me thinking one step ahead, how do I recognise when I’ve made the right step, and be rewarded by the joy of knowing I made it.
For you, your stamp might be shyness, or overconfidence, and like all metaphorical tattoos, both can be seen as good and bad.
Shyness can be disguised as politeness, but if you live your life polite but never revealing yourself, or learning from your mistakes, you might never step outside polite and into something more real and rewarding.
The tattoo of overconfidence can be fun for a while, but when people start to think of you as rude, or demanding, you know you’ve crossed the line.
So how do we learn what part of our tattoos to let shine, and what part to tone down or even remove.
A violent tattoo is one that should be quickly booked in for laser, as should a pitying tattoo, or one of low self respect.
If you suffer from a tattoo that you feel is not helpful in your life, whether it be the boys name you had tattooed on your stomach one druncken night, or the life determining sense of being that you carry with you, there is always a solution.
Thanks to some advanced laser treatment, tattoos are no longer as permanent as they once were, and the long lasting metaphorical tattoos that we are branded with can also be scrubbed off with the right dose of mental training.
First is to discover what tattoo you have, why it is no longer beautiful on you, and work towards finding an alternative that fits you better.
If you are shy don’t barge up to strangers, start by talking more in comfortable surroundings with people that make you feel valued.
If you are overconfident, or sometimes too much, begin by not saying everything that comes into your head the moment you think it, and try to reserve some things just for yourself!
Never change who you are to please others, but any tattoo that gets in the way of your own happiness, is one that perhaps you should consider lasering off, even if just a little!
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