Discovering tattoos at the age of 17… a time when being tattooed placed me in the minority but would soon become a major fashion trend…
Simply wanting a tattoo because I liked the look of them: why, I did not know, nor did I ever bother to stop and question this need at that time.
Over time, I have observed that tattoos have almost become a common ‘fashion accessory’ – a trend, something everyone ‘must have’. Today, they’ve gained wide-reaching acceptance with a broad spectrum of people now being tattooed: musicians, actors, sportspeople, mothers, fathers and grandparents all are succumbing to the latest fad.
And as they have become so prevalent and socially accepted, no longer are you asked why you have a tattoo but why you do not. Also, they’re bigger than ever now – not just a little star, a butterfly, a unicorn or bluebird anymore – they’re now large enough to cover almost an entire limb or the whole back.
The Addictive Nature of Tattoos
Once tattooed, I found there was a need for another, then another, each one bigger and bolder than the last, as if the tattoos themselves were an addiction. For they had become so for me, in the sense that once I had a taste for them, I couldn’t seem to stop myself from getting more.
Looking back I can see that this addiction to tattoos was very similar to other addictions I used to keep me numbed to feeling what really was going on, and from how I was truly feeling; things such as alcohol, marijuana, shopping or over-working.
What is it that makes tattoos so addictive?
I’m not the only one of course – many have taken tattoos to an extreme. But what is so appealing about tattoos that we do not question them and have allowed them to become so prevalent?
I know that I never stopped to consider why I would do that to my body, even when asked by my parents. Great question, but something I had no answer for at the time. It was only after I had made many other changes in my life that I began to ponder.
Was it possible that tattoos fooled me into believing that I accepted myself? Or did they allow me to focus on something else on my body – rather than on my body itself?
I used to think my tattoos beautified my body; that my body was not beautiful enough without something else. Clothes, shoes and accessories were one thing, but once they were gone, my body remained, raw, uncovered and exposed – a body not accepted, a body always needing ‘to be improved upon’, to fit the unrealistic picture the media constantly presents to us. I see now that I was using tattoos as a way to hide my body and myself, and as a form of protection.
I eventually realised this protection did not work
No matter how many tattoos I had, once the thrill and excitement of my new tattoo wore off, I was left with the same old feeling of worthlessness, a lack of respect for and acceptance of myself.
Attending workshops and presentations with Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine, I began to discover that there was so much more to my tattoos and my life than I was allowing myself to feel. I was able to accept more and more of me as I am, and that I am so much more than my tattoos.
The need to hide behind something or someone was falling away. I realised it was ok for me to just be me, and that the only person that needed to accept me, was me.
It took a little more time to break down the ideals and beliefs I’d ‘picked up’ and held on to around not being enough; to realise that I am not the clothes I wear nor the hairstyle I have – to know that I am what is within – and it is that beauty within that is now able to shine, without the need for any form of fashion accessory or tattoo.
By making choices in my life that are supportive and loving, allowing me to feel who I am without the façade, I have been able to end my addiction to tattoos and see my body and myself for who I truly am, the amazing, delicate woman I have always been and shall continue to blossom to be.
The Next Step: Tattoo Removal
Now I am choosing to go through the procedure of having my tattoos removed in a loving, supportive process with Dr Anne Malatt.
Part of my development has been about reclaiming myself and living the naturally beautiful woman I am. The laser tattoo removal process is just another part of this development, along with other changes I made and am still making in my life.
Each removal session supports me to feel more of me. Now I am able to look at myself in the mirror and see and feel me and the body I am in – not the tattoos I chose to hide behind.
Through the presentations and support of Universal Medicine and Serge Benhayon I have been able to look at all areas of my life, making loving choices that support me and my body. My journey from tattoos to tattoo removal, from addiction to self-acceptance is an extension of that life now lived. I accept and appreciate the body I have, no matter how it may look, and know that I could never become addicted to tattoos again.
By Nicole Serafin, Tintenbar, Australia
Is True Beauty Really In The Eye Of The Beholder?
The Man Beneath the Tattoos and Dreads
My Tattoo Removal & The Power of Stillness
My feeling is that for many, the choice to have a tattoo is a kind of individual badge to wear like nobody else has, a sort of self identification to be proud of. But having had a tattoo and now going through the removal process I found that it was a permanent badge that I was bound to grow out of and certainly did grow out of. It is now an imprint on my body that no longer fits the person I am now, and that is one of the many problems with tattoos, is that they hold us stuck in a time and energy that in the future we may wish to not to be in.
True Beverley- they are seen like an individual badge but one must ask that because most people seem to be getting them then . . . how individual is it really?
And it is very foreseeable that tattoos will be outgrown. As my daughter said many years ago to a big muscly footy guy at the park who she tried to play football with when she was 4, ‘Hey cool tattoo, but you do know that it’s not going to look so good when you are old’
I have never been drawn to have a tattoo, which I am happy about, because I know I would have regretted it much later. Thank you Nicole for sharing a super interesting blog and shining the light on this subject.
Nicole, thank you for this amazing blog. The depth and delicacy of understanding you bring, as to why people get tattoos is just lovely. No judgement of anyone, just love and acceptance. Your deep beauty shines through this piece.
Loved reading your blog Nicole. I am in the process of having my two tattoos removed, 5 sessions down so far. When I decided to get my tattoos I had a definite reason for what they each represented and chose carefully whereabouts on my body they would be best represented. Having them removed has been terrifyingly painful with huge blisters and much discomfort. The unravelling of the need behind the choice to get tattooed has been truly amazing. Every session has taken me into a deeper level of awareness and being able to feel that has truly healed so much for me. Thank you for starting the conversation.
This is a really good point Shelley. It seems that tattoos are really quick to be applied and have some pain attached to getting them done, I would imagine. Someone described it to me once as scratching really bad sunburn with a pin. But when I think about the length of time they take to be removed and the pain and discomfort in that- it is far worse. And then there is the cost comparison, I would imagine.
This is what should be told to people who get tattoos . . .
1. you will grow out of this.
2. it will hurt getting it but if you choose to remove it it is going to hurt a whole lot more.
3. it will take and hour or two to apply but months and many sessions to remove.
4. it will cost a lot more to remove than it does to apply.
This is the reality of it.
Thank you of sharing your experience Nicole. Although I’d explored many other ways to be identified and hide the real me I never did go down the road of getting a tattoo so I found this article to be deeply insightful in helping me understand one of the main underlaying reasons people get them.
Thank you Nicole for your honesty and openness about your addiction to tattoos and then your choice to remove them. Your experiences are so valuable for anyone considering having a tattoo or having a tattoo removed. When you begin to love and accept yourself it is obvious to see the choices you have made that are not from love. What an inspiration you are Nicole from using tattoos to dull and protect yourself to now a powerful and beautiful woman who truly honours herself.
I got a tattoo shortly after a death of a family member. At the time I was under the illusion that it marked a rights of passage. But I know now that I was using it to numb the grief that I felt but didn’t know how to cope with. I had it for about ten years before I decided that it had to go and went through the agony and terrible pain of laser treatment. After a year it was removed and now only a faint mark remains as a reminder for how I had once allowed my body to be a canvas for somebody’s art work with which I would need to live with day in day out, effecting me on many more levels than I cared to know. The mind boggles now why I would allow such a thing to be done to me. I can only say that I was not myself.
Pretty much none of us are being our true selves and so when we are adrift from ourselves anything can happen and it does. Just look at the world around us, it’s total chaos, it really is. Only when we drop the anchor of ‘us’ will we start to stabilise and then harmonise things, until then it’s pretty much on for young and old!
Great point about the addiction of tattoos in this blog, I never really saw it clearly that way, but if you watch any of those shows on tv, you can see how addictive it is. And that means of course as stated by Nicole, that when the novelty wears off, you need more. If people were just simply offered the truth about such a dependency in mainstream society, surely this would lead to making different choices. Is it so necessary for everyone to have their own form of addiction? No human beings can rise beyond this for sure. I feel this deeply in my heart.
I can feel the insatiableness of tattoos – that the short term buzz from one leads onto wanting another and another and I can see the parallel from tattoos to cosmetic plastic surgery – once started it is hard to stop. Unless, that is, as Nicole has shared here, there is a shift in perspective and relationship with our bodies. Whilst I never did get a tattoo, something I contemplated many times, the other addictive behaviours have been prevalent in my life and the trajectory they would have taken if I had not met Serge Benhayon would have been catastrophic. Thank you, Nicole, for sharing so openly about the changes and choices that have transformed your life.
I remember talking with someone about getting a tattoo and they said they used the pain of getting a tattoo as pain relief from the tension that they felt in their relationship and work. The young woman said, “I walked in the tattoo shop with a whole lot of tension in myself, and as soon as I felt the first needle going into my skin, I felt relief”. This is the same description people give when explaining acts of self harm like cutting or burning. Have we made self harm acceptable by calling it tattooing and packaging it up as self expression? Harming yourself is a form of self expression, its just a destructive one that tells the world how much pain you are in.
I remember friends getting tattoos when we were young and knowing they would regret it. Almost everyone I know has regretted having tattoos done. Maybe not initially but certainly over time.
It is something that has never made sense to me and has always felt like an injury or scar on another person.
I wonder if tattoos are now accepted by many as an initiation into adulthood, a must-do when you turn 18 and thus we/society has created a situation which puts pressure on young adults to conform by having a tattoo?
Hello Nicole and this is a painful subject you have started here. Not that I know for real because I have never had a tattoo but I imagine and from what I have heard they are very painful. I like what you are saying though and it all makes sense. One thing I have noticed as you have is the explosion of people and size of tattoos. They use to be limited to most being ‘private’ but now they are there to be seen. I’m not a big fan of tattoo’s I must admit and was never drawn into getting one even when my mates were all getting them. I just didn’t see the sense in getting something on me that I could never take off if I didn’t like it, plus the pain. I can also see what you are saying and how people are using tattoos like you explain. It’s a very interesting view on a subject that is now very public, thank you Nicole.
This is such an insightful post Nicole about tattoos, and not having one myself, appreciate your story and unfolding very much, because it’s so relatable to not just tattoos, but equally to other areas of life in which we can use ‘something else’ to avoid, distract ourselves, or abuse our body – to not see and hence appreciate i.e. love ourselves. Your self-realisation exposes the false seed we like to use to settle our mind that what we are doing is ‘good for us’ whether that’s us expressing ourselves, beautification, or something artful, even acceptance of oneself : “Was it possible that tattoos fooled me into believing that I accepted myself? Or did they allow me to focus on something else on my body – rather than on my body itself?”.
Nicole every young man and woman needs to read your story about tattoos and self-acceptance. I know I often find myself staring in disbelief and with a sense of sadness when I see beautiful young women covered in tattoos, so obviously not at home in their own skin. In young men I sense that armour of protection that tattoos seem to afford and yet if I take the time I can feel their innate tenderness. When did we all start finding it so hard to accept and express who we are – beautiful, delicate, tender?
“No matter how many tattoos I had, once the thrill and excitement of my new tattoo wore off, I was left with the same old feeling of worthlessness, a lack of respect for and acceptance of myself.” This is profound. How often in life do we reach outwards for something hoping it will miraculously help us feel better about ourself and life – and how often do we end up in exactly the same place and perhaps a little more disconnected with ourself and a little more frustrated with life.
I have two tattoos, and have wanted to get them removed for quite a while. I remember when it was first asked of me what would it be like to have no tattoos, and there was a sense of lightness that I could feel would be there. And this was down to realising that with the tattoos I am never truly naked. I am never just me, just as I am. It is like I am always living with some form of clothing on that I can never take off. This article has inspired me to take another look at getting my tattoos removed, and to move forward with it.
Nicole there was so much in your blog for me to relate to, and also to take a deeper look at. One part being how I also used tattoo’s to beautify my body, as I hadn’t accepted the raw beauty of me. I can also feel how the addiction part is true for me. How getting a tattoo didn’t fill the void I was aiming for so I would get another. My tattoos gave me a sense of being different from others, becoming protection for me. Keeping more people away, creating more separation from humanity.
Nicole, your article is raw and great insight into how Tattoo’s can either be a passing trend or an addiction. I have also had a tattoo removed and I have reclaimed my beautiful body in the process. Getting a tattoo for me was exactly how you have explained it for you which shows us that even thou we may think we are doing something for fun or enjoyment unless we are being very honest the likelihood is that we are not.
How many people who have tattoos, myself included, stopped to really question why they wanted or were getting a tattoo? It is a little scary considering the permanent nature of them. I have always noticed that with people who have big tattoos, it is hard to see the actual person and all you can see is the tattoo. Is it possible small tattoos do the same think but obviously are a bit more sneaky about it? Do they take away from who we really are so that that can no longer be seen so easily? My tattoos are small and fairly unseen but it is me who is unable to see myself clearly because of them. I have begun the removal process and although it is incredibly painful there is a sense of freedom I feel after each removal session and I come out feeling lighter.
This is a great blog to stimulate one to ask the question of do we really appreciate our self-worth or do we rely on external trappings to support us in our identification and give ourselves value? I know I did not used to value and appreciate myself for who I am and but depended on an external identification to give me sense of worth. However, over the years, I am now 63, none of the different identifications from teacher, photographer, father, therapist and the the list can go on, did I feel fulfilled. I was always left with a feeling of incompleteness. It is only now in recent years since learning to not rely on an external source for my self-worth but to appreciate myself for the amazing tender loving man I truly am and feel full within myself.
Ive just finished reading another blog on clearing out old accumulated clutter in the home and, it seems to me, that having tattoos removed from the body is a similar process, all be it far deeper and more painful. A tattoo becomes a permanent imprint from a point in the past that remains with us each and every day, the more tattoos the more ‘old stuff’, ‘baggage’ or ‘clutter’ remains, locking us in to times, events, images, ideals and beliefs that may no longer serve us, weighing us down and not allowing the lightness of who we are in the present to be freely expressed. Nicole I love this statement, “Each removal session supports me to feel more of me. Now I am able to look at myself in the mirror and see and feel me and the body I am in – not the tattoos I chose to hide behind.”
It’s amazing that people put themselves through so much pain in order to achieve something or an effect that they want. And tattoo removal sounds even worse than actually having the original tattoo. So much pain!
It’s a false want to cover pain. There is alway more then skin under the tattoo.
Absolutely, Rebecca. A tattoo is relatively cheap and takes just a couple of hours to put on, depending on the size, and takes many more times than that to take off!
It is Rebecca, to achieve the effect they want. I have often thought how otherwise attractive people ruin their beauty and look horrendous after covering their bodies in tattoos.
“By making choices in my life that are supportive and loving, allowing me to feel who I am without the façade, I have been able to end my addiction to tattoos and see my body and myself for who I truly am, the amazing, delicate woman I have always been and shall continue to blossom to be.”
Great honest sharing re tattoo addiction Nicole. You are an inspiration for other people who have chosen to have tattoos and now they have another more loving reflection to see and follow if they wish.
Nicole what a Blessing to read about You accepting You for who You are and not hiding anymore. Thank You for sharing.
Yes I agree Gill, this article reveals yet another pattern of behaviour we can engage in to avoid feelings associated with a lack of self acceptance or to be recognised and fashionable. There are so many layers you have revealed Nicole in your relationship with having tattoo, but it is especially lovely to hear how your exploration included a journey of acceptance.
Have you seen the latest article in the Newspapers. Not sure if it is true or not, but those people who have tattoos and have purchased the new Apple Watch, the watch will not function, as there is something in the ink or dye that goes into the body during the tattoo process affects the watch’s mechanism. Tattoos could become very expensive, as is the watch.
Tattoos are considered so normal now that people are being asked if they have a tattoo and if they don’t have one then they are asked “why not”. This to me is very disturbing.
Yes it is disturbing, it shows all the issue that Nicole has written about are rife in humanity.
I have had tattoos as well Nicole and can absolutely relate to what you say about them being addictive. My first one was a present to myself for completing my first year at uni, the second was when I finished uni altogether. It’s interesting as I ponder why I got them. It was a bit of a group bonding exercise, to fit in, be apart of the group, but also for recognition – look what I have. I was quite clever to making them small and unobtrusive. I would have never admitted at the time that that was the reason why I was getting them. It would have been I just want one. Sounds like a kid in a lolly shop doesn’t it. “I want one!” I have since had the 2 that I had removed and I would never now even consider the thought of getting another one.
I have complied many times with whatever the current ‘fashion’ happens to be which has mostly been in direct opposition to what my body is telling me or what I feel supports me. It is great to talk about this openly – giving us all more space to consider before we leap blindly in with the crowd.
I find the rise in Tattoos extraordinary and particularly because the tattoo parlours always feel very heavy to me, plus the concept of something that is painfully etched into your skin never appealed to me. Now I know there is so much more to it and your blog has given me much greater understanding of why people have them. Thank you Nicole.
When we have self acceptance there’s no need to go looking for it elsewhere. What you say here Nicole really sums it up: “The need to hide behind something or someone was falling away. I realised it was ok for me to just be me, and that the only person that needed to accept me, was me.”
‘Or did they allow me to focus on something else on my body – rather than on my body itself?’ Reading this sentence I realised that when I see someone with a tattoo my eyes are drawn to that area in particular taking me away from seeing the whole person. It might be only for a moment but it feels like an important one to notice, for how can we connect to the whole person when we are focussing on a very small part that isn’t who they are anyway?
Wonderful how you describe your process of going from tattoos all over and back to you and your body. Our bodies reflect who we are and a layer of tattoos indeed show something of not appreciating our bodies. You show there is another way. Thank you.
I find it interesting how tattoos have become part of self-image. Until fairly recently in our history they were always associated with specific purpose, such as for ritual in indigenous cultures, or for the control of mass populations like with concentration camp victims. How have we come to use this very specific form of marking the body as a way to denote attractiveness and perhaps even self worth?
Even when punching a little hole in my earlobe felt gross to me, there still was something about tattoos that was attracting me – and that was a recognition, an identification that I believed I would get from getting them. I did think about getting one, but just an idea of chiseling my body with a needle never appealed to me. So it was a clear yes from my mind, and a clear no from my body. As it turned out getting tattoos was just not my gig, I chose other fillers for my emptiness – alcohol, emotions, spiritual pursuits etc. – just as addictive and harmful.
I love this, Fumiyo: “So it was a clear yes from my mind, and a clear no from my body.”
This describes the process so well, that in every moment we have a choice, to listen to our mind, or to our body, and the choice is always clear.
Yes the same for me, sometimes I like the idea but not the reality. It makes me realise how I can let an idea become a reality and then regret it. It pays to check if we are being caught up in the mind and it’s fantasies and to feel how this translates in the body and what that feels like.
I never could understand why anyone would want to mutilate their beautiful skin with a tattoo but your blog, Nicole has given me insight into this and I can now understand what motivates people to do this. I see that I had a judgment about people who are addicted to tattoos but they are no different than many of us who have a need to hide behind some form of protection because we do not accept ourselves as we are. Tattooing is just one way of playing this game.
Yes, Sandra, that is one of the many great things about this blog – that insight and understanding are offered without judgement, allowing us to see deeper than the skin, to the fact that we are all the same, on the inside.
Thank you Nicole for your honest account here. It never made sense to me why people got tattoos but through reading your blog I now have a deeper understanding. People wanting to hide, to distract from the fact they may not feel enough as they are. What is incredibly sad is that tattooing is becoming more and more widespread with tattoos becoming larger and more outlandish as time goes on. It really signifies we are going in the wrong direction, we are not developing as human beings, we are actually going backwards as a society. This is shocking and needs to be addressed with love and understanding not judgement or condemnation. Beautiful that you are one of those few leading the way, to healing your hurts and reclaiming the amazing, gorgeous woman you always were.
Tattoos have become so normal, that we don’t even question each other the ‘why’ question. It is the same with alcohol, smoking, watching TV, porn or over eating. These are all things that are accepted and seen as normal. But if nobody asks the question any longer of why we do this and we just let it be, then aren’t we all part of this self created normal? And if fact, aren’t we all responsible for this rise in tattoos?
In the newspaper yesterday, the new Apple watch is not responding to the Light needed on some people who have tattoos. They say the tattoo ink is not allowing the light in which is needed for the watch to work.
Does that mean that the tattoo ink is harming our body if it is not allowing the light in?
Well this is very interesting.
What is this actually saying to us?
What could we learn from this?
Could it be that simple?
Wow Bina very interesting. What is the true effect tattoos has on our bodies physiologically?vThe fact that they block out light speaks volumes.
Perfectly said Bina and Anne
Very fascinating and pertinent observation Bina. Truth is very simple and this is another example of how it shines through in everything if you can see it – even Apple watches.
Yes, I read this too Bina Pattel about the apple light watches – I agree with your questions and yes, I feel it definitely is just this simple – tattoo ink is harming to our bodies.
“Does that mean that the tattoo ink is harming our body if it is not allowing the light in?
Well this is very interesting.
What is this actually saying to us?
What could we learn from this?
Could it be that simple?”
The person who is removing my tattoos has told me repeatedly that when we have a tattoo our bodies are constantly trying to heal it as it is foreign and not part of the body. So all this work has to go into fighting the tattoo but the body will never win. The poor body! But we are not even aware that this happening. They are foreign and the body sees them as an illness and will forever do what it can to bring the body back to harmony.
Pretty horrific all the implications of having a tattoo.
I got a tattoo on my left breast because I thought it was trendy and it was easier to do that at the time, then deal with my self loathing. It was a statement. I would wear a low cut dress and flash my tattoo and think I was feeling great about myself. Now I realise it was a statement saying that I did not feel that just me being me was enough.
Wow Nicole, what an inspiring and honest blog. You are so gorgeous in your photo, it is hard to imagine that you could ever need to obliterate your natural beauty with tattoos on your body.
Yes, you have ‘nailed it’ with this powerful sentence, it is all about lack of acceptance of ourselves –
“Could using tattoo to make your body more beautiful mean you don’t accept yourself as beautiful to begin with”
It is such a much needed blog on tattoos Nicole. Thank you for exposing the reality behind tattoos going beyond the fashion accessory. The process of tattooing is a much painful and degrading one and it shows a lot about the state of our self-care and self-love as a humanity.
Nicole, as you say tattoos are now so common and widely spread that there are no questions asked about why we choose to inject our bodies with a permanent mark. The revelation of the tattoos being a cover up and a way to try and surpass feelings of lack of self worth is hugely important and a big tell tale of where we are generally in relationships with ourselves.
Tattoos are seemingly turning into an epidemic, and no, it does not have the obvious rebellious air it once did but there is still something rebellious about it, in the sense that there must be a significant force or drive involved to override and disregard our bodies and cover them with symbols, words and images that mask us and impose on us. We actually rebel against our natural way of being. Does the increase in tattoos express a deeper, very worrying trend that more and more of us are deeply unsatisfied with our lives, and so we seek tattoos and other devices to numb ourselves from our true natural state of being?
Thank you Nicole, as I am going to remove my tattoos soon, I have felt as you have similarly expressed that getting tattoos was a way to confirm that we are not enough. I did not want to feel the nakedness of what’s truly going on in my body then, so tattoos became my way of distraction, an attempt to express the truth I knew but did not live–because I alienated my body. And how true that they are addictive! My choice to remove the tattoos now come from the fact that I no longer feel unworthy or not enough. In fact, what my tattoos represented do not present true truth and that feels super disharmonious on the body now that removing them is a necessity.
Adele, that comment is fantastic. People often ask me why I am bothering to get my tattoos removed when they are in places that are hidden on my body that no one sees. I see them and I feel them and I don’t like them and for those reasons and more I am having them removed. “What my tattoos represented do not present true truth and that feels super disharmonous on the body now that removing them is a necessity”. Spot on!
Thank you Nicole. There is so much that we use to up our self worth and make us feel more beautiful and it often comes with pain and costs a lot of money. It is really high time that we as a humanity learn to appreciate ourselves more to let the beauty out that is already there. No more looking at the imperfections and striving for the ideals that can never be reached anyway. Wake up world, we are naturally beautiful, lets put our true glasses on and start to see the beauty that is there.
“I realised it was ok for me to just be me, and that the only person that needed to accept me, was me.” Spot on Nicole, that realisation is key in giving up any of those things we might use to make us ‘more acceptable’ – to both ourselves and in the (perceived) eyes of others.
From Addiction to Self Acceptance – wow that really hit home to me today. I know I can repeat eat and over indulge, usually with nuts and I have thought this was like an addictive behaviour yet this morning I could feel the extent of this in my body and I felt really sick in my stomach and then other areas began to show themselves with signs of unease, tension, aches and irritations. I feel like my body has been given permission to feel more deeply what I am doing to it in the way I am choosing to be with myself . This addictive type of energy comes from not accepting myself, of not being enough – of not letting one handful of nuts be enough – or maybe one or two be enough when they truly are. This is me not being truly present with myself, for myself…and simply accepting the tender, sensitive and precious woman I am.
Thank you Nicole for sharing the cause underlying why so many people get tattoos and the addiction to get more and more. This shows to me that there are so many people who do not accept the beauty of who they truly are.
Thanks Nicole for bringing some understanding as to why people would choose to have tatoos.
Thank you Nicole for explaining so clearly the drive behind getting a tattoo and how that then becomes addictive and how you came to realise that it was a form of protection when you were unable to find acceptance of your body as it was. It is so beautiful to read how this has changed for you as you made more and more choices that were supportive and allowed you to reconnect to your inner beauty.
Sharing your experience is so important with our current explosion in tattooing and the younger and younger ages that this is happening at.
Could using tattoo to make your body more beautiful mean you don’t accept yourself as beautiful to begin with….this observation you made flawed me in its simplicity and power.
So much of what we do can be done just for acceptance, but is harmful and destructive to our being. If we were offered the contract that we unknowingly take out when we tattoo ourselves, we at very least have the opportunity to truly accept, or not, just what comes when we tattoo any part of our body.
Nicole, your transformation is so lovingly honest. It has given me a new perspective on tattoos, that they can be addictive, a way of hiding the body and a form of protection. Thank you.
Thanks for sharing your experiences Nicole, and revealing your reasons for having tattoos. I feel we will see an explosion in tattoo removal in the years to come when people realise that the tattoo is a marker on their physical body of where they were at when they got it…and that may not be such a great place – who wants a permanent reminder of that?
You raise an interesting point with regard to permanence Sandra. We know that our bodies reflect our choices, and we also know that by changing our choices we have the grace to heal the ill effects of our choices, i.e. nothing is really permanent. It seems to me that tattoos are in a way an attempt to over turn that grace, to give our bad choices some permanence. But ultimately, love wins, so whilst physically a tattoo may be having a degree of permanence, and be hard to remove, and whilst they are very destructive, they cannot, and will not ultimately take away the grace that will always be ours. Tattoo or not, the choice to come back to a more loving way of being is always ours. Of coarse, it may take a very long time for us to choose this.
I have found it particularly shocking to grow up through college witnessing many people the same age as me from 14-17 getting tattoos. For a tattoo shop to even do a tattoo on anyone I actually consider quite abusive because of what it does to your body, let alone a young teenager. There seems to be a huge lack of responsibility that is being taken to young people and their decisions to get tattoos, even teachers at school notice the tattoos on students and yet they turn a complete blind eye, it is actually inadvertently encouraged.
It is great to get a teenagers perspective on this much needed modern day subject – Thank You Oliver Snelgrove.
I have realised how much I used to judge people with tattoos and at one point I was scared. I used to see their eyes and they seemed vacant, dark and it was like they were empty in some way. I was reacting to this as I had zero understanding. Thank God over the years I have developed more awareness about why people do what they do and this has helped me in my judgements.
We do not know their childhood, we do not know anything about them, we do not know the choices that led them to having tattoos, we do not have a clue what is going on inside their mind and yet we judge. This is what has helped me to understand those who have tattoos and those who choose to live differently to how I live.
With a deeper understanding about other people, I find myself reacting less and this has really helped me.
This is awesome Nicole, and well worth being shared. I too had tattoos, for a couple of years. I got two in my thirties, then after attending a Universal Medicine workshop and presentation I could feel for me they were a form of abuse. Not long after this I choose to get them removed, this is completely finished and it feels amazing to no longer have them. I feel so much clearer in the sense it was almost like that part of my body wasn’t really me, it was letting something in. After the very first removal session, sitting at home that night, gently rubbing cream on the tattoo, I started to cry, these tears came from somewhere very deep inside. It was nothing to do with the stinging feeling from the session, but the fact I could feel, where my tattoos were was no different to someone who chose to self harm. It was the same self abuse I had chosen to do this in.
Great comment Gyl, a testament showing the world that tattooing is very similar to self-harming. Our bodies are worth much more than that. It deserves every tender and loving touch and every support it can get.
Great comment Gyl. I am in the process of removing mine and I have had to revisit where I was at when I chose to get both tattoos. Each tattoo was like a stamp of who and where I was at at that time in my life and they were both quite momentous times of my life. At the time I got them I thought I would always want that stamp of where and who I was. But as I have come to care for myself and love myself more I can see how I no longer want that stamp. I will always have been that person that I was but I do not need to hold onto that and it feels the tattoos energetically represent that for me so I am continually exposed to that and they hold my body in that place. Coming to terms with where I was at when I chose to get both of them had involved a deep amount of honesty and one which I am still working on.
Great sharing Gyl and great that you allowed yourself to feel this and clear the self abusive energy.
Me too Gyl – I felt it like that too, the self harm out of a need to belong – so sad. Now that I have started the removal process I already feel it has no meaning for me any longer.
It has been a revelation for me that having tattoos is addictive. Thank you for sharing this.
Yes, same here, but it makes so much sense. And it makes me wonder: what else are we addicted to but do not see it as an addiction?
Absoutely Elizabeth for me too and it is also a reminder of how what we seek from outside of us can never fulfil us and therefore will always need to be repeated.
For me Tattoos were always like a jewellery on the skin, but I did not like the idea that you can’t take them off like you can with a jewellery. Once you have it, you have it for your whole lifetime. This felt like I would sell myself to something, which anyway is not me and so I chose not to have a tattoo. Your article, Nicole is very revealing as it opens us up to see the tattoos from different angles and how there can be an addiction with them. It feels like tattoos would make us more beautiful or more powerful or more special, but in truth they numb us in order to confirm that we don’t feel enough without them.
Having never had a tattoo and from a generation when they were a rarity I have not been able to understand the present attraction for them other than them being the latest fad, I find your blog extremely informative and illuminating. Thank you Nicole as it enables me to have a much greater understanding not only about tattoos but also of the nature of addictions.
I did consider at times to get a tattoo because I thought it is really cool to have Celtic tattoos. But there was a part in me that didn’t want a tattoo and I am very glad to have listened to it. It might have been the the painful procedure or an inner Knowing that tattoos are not supportive for our bodies as we have an energetic imprint from another person on our skin.
I also wanted a tattoo at one stage but there was something inside me that knew not to trust this, the feeling was wrong even thought I thought with my head that they looked cool. I’m so glad I trusted my feelings. There is nothing more beautiful than clear clean skin.
Nicole you share so much with us in your blog, thank you.
“I used to think my tattoos beautified my body; that my body was not beautiful enough without something else. Clothes, shoes and accessories were one thing, but once they were gone, my body remained, raw, uncovered and exposed – a body not accepted, a body always needing ‘to be improved upon’, to fit the unrealistic picture the media constantly presents to us. I see now that I was using tattoos as a way to hide my body and myself, and as a form of protection.”
I understand through your blog that tattoos are used to compensate lack of self worth and a missing connection to our own bodies.
This is an important issue, thank you Nicole for shining the light on it. I always thought that people with tattoos just want to show how tough and proud they are, and I felt pushed away by that. But you go deeper to expose the vulnerability and fear of not being good enough, and that confirms again that we are all the same, with just different ways to distract ornumb ourselves.
I can relate to feeling pushed away by people’s tattoos and this makes so much more sense now that what I was picking up was the hiding away that is going on behind the apparent desire to stand out and be noticed.
It’s very true, tattoos do push people away. It’s as though a tattoo is a commitment to keep people away and the force of that apparent repellant is quite strong. Having an understanding changes how it feels to be on the receiving end.
Helen I love the contrast you have seen here. That the loudness of the tattoo is actually a hiding away of who people are. This fact is rarely discussed or even realised. And this is just one area where this contrast in communication is happening.
Ariana, good on you for naming this skin obsession as abusive.
I agree Sally, for when we truly feel how precious we are, anything other than utter love, deep care and nurturing of our bodies is abuse.
Looking at it from the other direction, it’s probably a good thing that tattoos are permanent and very painful to remove. It means that at some point in one’s life, the realization of harmful past choices is going to be so in-your-face strong that it will be a good lesson in choices for the future. Tough way to do it though!
Hi Nicole, I love what you write “No matter how many tattoos I had, once the thrill and excitement of my new tattoo wore off, I was left with the same old feeling of worthlessness, a lack of respect for and acceptance of myself”. It’s like any addiction or need for a new fashion accessory, it does not hold its value after you have bought it. It is a continuous wait to be recognized or to be looked at.
We wait for others to accept us. It’s so separating because if we do not get it we develop another hurt on top of what is already there, and in reaction we do it more, or purposely withdraw from others and resent more about life and people to now protect more of our worthlessness, instead of feeling our worthlessness to start with. What has worked for me – to actually feel my worthlessness. There is only going up from me and you do it leave it behind.
Great blog Nicole – in the current day and age where tattoos are so normal and accepted, it is great to hear your account about going a lot deeper into the reasons why you got tattooed in the first place – there’s definitely more to it than just a ‘fashion accessory’. I know I used to use my tattoo as part of my identity, and can feel how using that was showing me how I did not accept myself in full just the way I was. I am also getting mine removed now and am loving re-claiming my body back!
For me getting a tattoo was about being seen to be tough. To show that I didn’t need anyone to look after me. It was like I was branding myself. The state of being I was in at the time I got my tattoo really shows me where I was at. I felt the pain of the tattoo being needled into my body but I braced my body, gritted my teeth and pushed through. Really confirming to myself how tough I was or so I thought… Underneath all that so-called toughness I was feeling lost and alone and I realise now that getting a tattoo was another way to isolate myself by adding another layer of protection.
Robyn you echo my thoughts exactly on the reasons I chose to mark myself in this way. I now ask what business does a woman have wanting to be so tough Vs the delicate natural beauty that we are? It’s a no-brainer surely! Thanks also Nicole for sharing your thoughts and experiences.
I had so many reasons why I didn’t want a tattoo that it was never a consideration for me. What you’ve shared Robyn is what I see in a lot of young people with tattoos…they are really sensitive and gorgeous but hurting in some way, and the tattoos are a way of hiding (or trying to). The tattoo creates a ‘noise’ around the person so when I feel them, I have to ‘listen’ more intently to get a feel for them without the ‘noise’ of the tattoo.
I enjoyed your blog Nicole! It would seem we have crossed paths on many occasions having dabbled in all sorts of adventures in search of ourselves. And here we meet again and yes indeed I also dabbled in some painful ink experimentation all in the art of ‘being cool’. The choice to have a tattoo came from a complete emptiness, it came from wanting to fit in and be accepted. I too am in the process of taking my tattoo off and it has been a process of having to feel the level of self abuse it takes to inflict this upon my sensitive and tender body.
I have a good friend who has recently gone through the process of having his tattoos removed. Interestingly, he commented that it has been quite a process for him, as all the emotions that he had when he got the tattoo have been resurfacing as he has had treatments to get the tattoo removed.
Yes that is what I got told as well, with the process to redo the tattoos is a lot coming up – all the emotions that have been dumped into the body with the tattoos.
After my first removal session the thing I most remembered feeling when I first got my tattoo, near to 20 years prior, was the initial shock I was in, having just sat through the hour and a half long process. What amazed me about this memory was how quickly I then overrode that shock to go into the awe of what that part of body now held. Completely disconnecting from my body even further than I was before I’d begun.
Thank you Nicole for your explanation of why you chose to have tattoos. Really interesting, your sharing that it became an addiction. As an older woman, I usually was aware that the main people who had tattoos had been or were servicemen, such as those in the Navy, particularly those who had travelled widely. It seemed to be a badge of acknowledgment of their travels. It was seldom seen in the general population. It has totally bemused me over the last 20 years or so, and more so recently, to see so many people of all ages now proudly displaying their tattoos. I must admit that I have never liked it, it always felt awful to me.
But your explanation shows a very different reason for wanting to have a tattoo. I can see now how a lack of acceptance of who one truly is can lead to one using the tattoo to cover up that lack. It certainly appears to be an epidemic now in our society, how sad that people feel that they have to cover themselves up, in effect they are hiding from who they truly are.
And the tattoos seem to have a gripping effect as well, at least that is what I feel when I look at them
I’d always thought that it would have been fun to have had a small tattoo but never had the courage to get one. I’m so pleased that I never found that courage. I’d never thought of them as being addictive and that’s quite scary. I’ve had enough addictions. What an inspiring message – thank you Nicole.
I too found what you shared very insightful Nicole, as I had never considered tattoos were a way of hiding ones body or as a means of protection – but that really makes a lot of sense. With so many people feeling lost in life – no wonder there has been such a dramatic increase in the number of people getting tattoos. Thanks for sharing your deepening awareness it is something many people will benefit from.
Nicole you’ve given me a much deeper understanding of tattoos. I really get how they can distract a person from feeling how they’re not loving being in the skin/body they are in and how the distraction from this is short-lived and requires extra tattoos to distract or dealing with the feelings of worthlessness.
I loved reading about your appreciation of yourself which is continuously expanding and unbound by aging – another social Achilles heel whereby women especially aren’t celebrated as they get older. It’s really beautiful to feel the love and acceptance of yourself you now have, very inspiring.
Beautifully expressed Nicole, from the simplicity and love of a woman who has chosen to accept herself, just as she is.
Thank you Nicole, what a great insight into your motivation and mindset behind getting a tatoo. I don’t think most people are that aware of why they did or still do it! It is very revealing to me. I didn’t really have an understanding as to why very young people are wanting to get them now. Also, I’ve seen a new product, which is using gorgeous, pretty gold filigree designs, very ornate. It looks like expensive jewelry-I was even drawn to it. It has a striking look on the skin, very alluring. All designed to hook you into buying it and putting it all over your body. My students as young as Year 4 are getting them and putting them on in hidden places on their bodies. It’s very concerning, when you begin to look deeper into the truth of the motivations underneath the choice to get them. Awesome revealing sharing. Thank you!
Thanks for sharing so openly about your addiction. As I read this, I thought of many friends who like you, get addicted and not long after the latest tattoo, they are already planning the next. I have come close to getting a tattoo, but luckily I never went there. Now that I see them everywhere, I would never ever want one. For me it would have been more to be different or to rebel.
I also like how you exposed you connection of tattoos to your lack of self worth and self acceptance.
The thoughts that run through my mind that I am not good enough just as I am can be so crippling, but thanks to what I have learnt from Universal Medicine presentations and from the inspiration from Serge and Natalie Benhayon, those thoughts are less and less these days. I have had to learn the difference between what I am and what I do, and that I am definitely not what I do plus many other valuable lessons.
A most invaluable lesson, to learn the difference between who we are and what we do. Much is lost in identifying with what we do, and much is covered up. When we learn to accept who we truly are there is no longer the need to hide behind the what we do anymore.
I find it very revealing to hear that the tattoo is an addiction to hide something for yourself and others, filling up the holes we left open when coping with life. It is an amazing thing you now opened up and don’t need to cover anything up, because the hole is filled with who you are.
‘To know that I am what is within’ – such a great reminder to look within and be with me. Thank you
I can remember 8 years ago tattoo shops were a dark alley-way hidden away type of shop. Now there are tattoo shops on the main street that openly advertise tattoos. Boy has the the industry changed in such a short space of time!
Yes I agree Joshua that tattoo shops where in a hidden alley in the past and today they are popping up everywhere.
I recently have seen some on high streets working alongside in hairdressers.
A recent documentary left me in no doubt that tattoos become highly addictive for many and its like they just can’t stop until every part of their body has a tattoo. One guy had no space left so he was having his head tattooed.
I have wondered when I see their eyes are they seeking some form of recognition?
I say this as you sure get noticed on a train when you are covered in tattoos on your head and neck.
Nicole I wonder if the explosion in the number of people getting tattoos and also the number of people having plastic surgery is merely a reflection of how disconnected we are from our inner truth. Surely if we were solid in who we knew ourselves to be we would not have a need for our outside appearance to be altered so as to make a statement about who we believe ourselves to be. If we were deeply connected to who we are in truth then the way we chose to dress etc would be an extension of the person that we are on the inside. I know that people with tattoos do feel that there tattoos reflect them but what is it really that is being reflected ?
Thank you Nicole for this timely article on tattoos , isn’t a tattoo the same as branding your body and a brand is a mark that denotes being owned by someone or some other entity as a company or a belief etc? Would we tattoo our bodies if we accepted or claimed our self and with it the responsibility of having the beautiful amazing bodies we have been given, would we mark them with a tattoo?
Some great points you raise here Paul. I say no, we would not mark our bodies with a tattoo if, ‘we accepted or claimed our self and with it the responsibility of having the beautiful amazing bodies we have been given’.
There seems to be something at play here in everyone’s sharing of their tattoos and why they got them…
Step 1: disconnect from your true self
Step2: experience the ‘void’ this creates
Step 3: seek to ‘belong’ again
Step 4: look outward
Step 5: see others who are also lost
Step 6: seek to have what they have ‘got’
Step 7: join them in the delusion you have reconnected
Step 8: still feel lost
Step 9: start again
This cycle could endlessly repeat, explaining the addictive nature of tattoos (or insert any substance, behaviour or belief here) until such a time as one realizes that not only are they playing a game but also maybe the game is playing them…
It is a great observation Liane, of the addictive impact of disconnection and feeling lost then choosing to look for something on the outside to fix this. But something outside can only ever give us a brief perception of feeling better, then invariably we end up in the same place feeling lost. A vicious cycle until we wake up and realize it is the connection to the love within us that we are missing.
Nicole, I love your awareness how your tattoos became about being accepted and being protected. Having always wanted to be ‘inked’ but never succumbing to the impulse, my new motto is simply: no tattoo is the new tattoo – love is our best form of ‘protection’.
Or: Clean skin is the new black!
Way to go Nicole! It’s interesting you list shopping in the things we can be addicted to list – it’s something I have been exploring and it is clear to me that all these things addictions come from exactly the same place, despite some ‘seeming’ more extreme than others.
So true Jennifer. So many socially acceptable addictions are still used to hide, change and distract ourselves from truly knowing ourselves from the inside out. A distraction from knowing our true power and light.
‘It is clear to me that all these things addictions come from exactly the same place, despite some ‘seeming’ more extreme than others’, I agree Jenifer and I have fallen for the trap of judging someone on their addiction whilst being addicted myself to something that I too am using to temporarily cover up my internal discomfort. I have been addicted to many of the so called ‘healthy hobbies’ (exercise, yoga, meditation etc) and smeared over the top of my hidden addiction has been a rather sickening dose of superiority. Not an ounce of truth in any of it, all of it kept me in separation from myself and therefore from everybody else.
Great point Fiona, looking back when I chose to get a tattoo it was at a time when I was at a very low point of self-worth and having the tattoo I now see was just another form of abuse I chose to put my body through.
So beautiful to be getting it removed and to see it fading along with a deepening of the honouring of my body and a true building of my self worth.
Thank you Nicole for opening this very important topical conversation. Initially, I understood that tattoos signified initiation into warrior status, as with the Maories; a formidable tough exterior. A far cry from the picture you present of addictive self abuse as a covering of the amazing delicate woman that you have come to know. These days it’s very beautiful to see the delicate clear skin of the person who has no tattoos.
I have wondered why people chose to be tattooed, now from this blog I have more understanding, it is just another way of not accepting ourselves. There are so many different ways we choose to go looking for recognition from others and tattoos are just another of these ways. I really like the way you have finished off this blog by claiming “I accept and appreciate the body I have, no matter how it may look”.
It’s interesting when Nicole says that tattoos have gained wide-reaching acceptance with a broad spectrum of people now being tattooed, which makes people not different to each other in the end. Tattoos are about trying to be an individual and unique in your self expression…but if everyone is doing it – you are still the same as everyone else.
It is tragic that there’s such an increase in tattoos and as you say Nicole, tattoos that now cover whole limbs and part of the body, shutting down and covering up the natural delicateness that we all innately have, because of a deep-seated seed of not feeling enough just as who we are. I got a tattoo some years back when I was desperate for approval from my then peer group. I remember the addictive nature, the high, the thrill at looking at this tattoo on my hip. It gave me a big relief from the inadequacy I felt about myself and my body. But of course it didn’t solve anything, and now my body had the markings on it from something that didn’t truly belong to me. Going through a tattoo removal process has meant uncovering what I was always shying away from — me.
This is spot on Katerina, “shutting down and covering up the natural delicateness that we all innately have, because of a deep-seated seed of not feeling enough just as who we are”, there are so many ways in which we do this, I drank and smoked because I did not feel enough as I was. I no longer do this because I now love and care for myself and no longer feel the emptiness that I once did thanks to the inspiration from Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine.
As a young boy I used to absolutely detest other kids drawing on my arms in school – this early form of tattooing always felt imposing and I insisted to teachers that I needed to scrub the imposing ink off. It was my body and no one was allowed to draw, scribble or taint it. I never went down the route of tattoos but have observed the way in which my lovely wife has gone through the process of removing tattoos and seeing them sit upon her – absolutely not her in any way shape or form but having a stamp like ‘your owned’ quality. How many of us across the world are seemingly ‘owned’ by another’s stamp?
Well said Lee. When I had my tattoo it did feel like a constant reminder that someone else had put their stamp on me, and part of me regretted having it done almost instantly. The removal process was a re-claiming back of the part of me that I did not want to connect to at that time.
An interesting point you make, Lee, that if you have a tattoo, it is as if you are owned by that stamp that has been placed on you. I know I have never liked tattoos as they have always seemed to feel an ugly energy around them. It feels as if the energy of the person who did the imprint has been impressed onto the other person’s body.
Tattoos are so normal now, I used to be surprised to see them but now it has become the norm. What does this say about us as a human race? Where are we going with this? And how far will we go until we stop?
So true Shami. It used to be quite rare. Growing up in the eighties it was mainly musicians and pop stars. Its now quite common to see people with extreme tattoos on their necks, full arms and face. Where is this going. Like all addictions it gets more and more extreme. What next?
Thanks Nicole. I hadn’t even thought about tatoos being used as a form of protection, but it makes very good sense. It’s also like the trend in beards, it sometimes feels that it’s an unconsious decision to shy away from the world, to hide behind the mask and slip through the cracks.
Nicole thank you for explaining the addictive nature of tattoos. A couple of people I know have had tattoos in recent years and I find it hard to say anything positive about them if asked. I do say that I wouldn’t have one but in truth, I just feel like I want to scrub them off! Somehow they feel unclean or something to me. I feel sad that someone with beautiful young skin would deface it like this and then have to live with this image or images when they may have long grown out of what this represents.
Thanks for this blog Nicole. I have always felt tattoos to be a form of self harm, similar to cutting. It’s painful and that pain offers the person some kind of relief or rush that makes them feel good momentarily. I could always feel when people around me were choosing them that it wasn’t about them being liberated or empowered, but about covering up some kind of pain or hurt. I often wondered if someone felt really good about themselves – would go and get a tattoo? As you’ve pointed out, if someone feels enough as they are, and is deeply connected with themselves, there is no need for anything more. I remember in my early 20’s when friends were getting tattoos, I said ‘Maybe if my mum dies, then I’ll get one to remember her’… but what I was really feeling was that at that time, that was the most painful experience I could imagine… & getting a tattoo would in some way help me through the process or offer me some kind or relief. It was a way of dealing with the pain.
Making the link between self harm and tattoos makes so much sense when you describe it Brooke, I can feel the connection of the addiction and how tattoos are used to cover up hurts.
You make such a profound comment here Brooke from your lived experience – thank you.
I know what you are saying is true as a recent documentary on tattoos in the UK focussed on the person getting a tattoo on the death of a loved one and in this case it was their dog and it was in memory so the person would never forget his ‘best friend’. I wondered at the time if it was a’ process to offer some kind of relief and a way of dealing with the pain’ as you say Brooke.
What is really obvious is that Tattoos are a growing industry and its become a fashion statement just like body piercing.
Great point Brooke. If someone felt really good about themselves would they get a tattoo? If we felt enough there would be not need to alter, and ultimately hide.
Great blog Nicole, we need more people speaking out about tattoos. They are so common place now, a reflection of how disconnected we are as a society to our inner beauty, our self worth, our sense of purpose in the world. The abuse of the body through tattoos is a symptom of a greater disease, and most certainly not cool.
Nicole, when we were younger, we thought it was cool to have tattoos, and it was the in thing to do.
As we grew older and wiser we look back and think what was I doing to my body by having all that coloured dye inserted into my body.
If as youngsters we realised what we were worth, and accepted being an awesome soul, we wouldn’t have inflicted our bodies to the pain of tattoos.
Fantastic you are free of that addiction, and accept yourself for who you truly are.
Thanks Nicole for putting into words how I have felt about tattoos. They look hard to me, no matter what the image, how colourful etc. So to hear you say it’s a form of protection, makes total sense. Great conversations to be having with our kids.
Tattoos hurt and they are not cheap, why not buy a new shirt if you want a change of appearance.
Fully with you there Tony – I’m way too sensitive for these things.
Yes Tony, buying a new shirt seems a far cheaper and less painful option as well as being easier to change when the novelty wears off!
….. or a new Summer dress…. Me too Tony, I am far too sensitive and delicate for hurting myself in that way.
I am having my tattoos removed by Dr Anne Malatt too. This process has been so revealing and I know that tattoos are no longer for me and will never be again. I was totally not myself when I made this choice years ago.
Isn’t that just the ultimate illusion Sally, that our tattoos are for us… but how can they be when we were absent in the energetic sense when we made the decision to get them in the first place?
For me there certainly was a link between self-worth and tattoos. I got a tattoo when my self-worth was at an all-time low. Back then it was not acceptable for a woman to have a tattoo in fact it was barely acceptable for a man to have a tattoo and certainly wasn’t sociable acceptable like it is these day. On reflection looking back 38 years after I had my tatoo surgically removed I know I used my tattoo for shock value and to keep people away from me.