We all wear tattoos. Most are invisible to the world. There are some marks on our lives that simply can’t  be removed by wishing them away. There are some marks in our lives that we hope never leave us. The hard truth about human pain or joy is that though it can, in time, become an emotional tattoo of our past, the intensity of its presence in our memory will come back when we least expect it to.

Making peace with our experiences is one of the more challenging things out there. It’s also a cornerstone to thriving.

Knowing the difference between the good memories and the bad ones helps us to process them. Being able to consciously decide which to continue to believe or act on is a strength we don’t always stay in the moment with.

The indelible acts of rediscovering ourselves after trauma, or a life altering event is one of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves. When change happens, we change. We’ll never be that person we were before the event (birth, death, marriage, divorce, loss, gains of any sort). The birth of a child immediately launches us into a new identity. When we meet that newborn for the first time, our worldview and dynamic shifts. When someone we love dies, we are destined to go on living without them for as long as we live. The same goes for aging. All are marks on our personality. They don’t have to be scars on our heart.

An indelible act is something permanent, something that can’t be removed. Something that weaves its way into the fabric of our story. It is a piece of our whole person work of art, forever there for us to know about.

It is not something that everyone can see. There are events or experiences that happen to us, or because of us that change us. To the outside world, we may look a certain way, but inside, we are forever altered by the ripple in the universe. Grief is an example. Queen Elizabeth II said, “Grief is the price we pay for love.”. When we lose that love, we are changed forever. There is always hope that as we age, we mature, we season, we develop empathy.

Being sensitive to other people’s invisible tattoo’s are a sign of our own maturing.

In the throws of sadness, or pain, or extreme change (good and bad), we may lose our way to the emotions. We may be lost in the forest of experience so that we do not see or remember to look for the talisman that reminds us that no matter what it is, this too shall pass.

That does not, however, discount the ghosts of the experience itself. Clarity is knowing that some experiences are but a memory. They are only a piece of our story. They are not the whole of who we are. Savor the story, not the emotions tied to them. Staying present yet acknowledging the tattoo that only you can see. That’s living in clarity.

About the author: Karen E.M. Henry is a transitions life coach, writer and speaker. She specializes in working with people who want to create positive changes and savor who they want to be. Her full bio can be found at:  wings13326.wix.com/wings13326#!about-karen-e-m-henry-ma/c11k


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