The past four years have been long, hard, and painful. Hope has been a gossamer thread, spun so thin that I've questioned its very life.
My life, my relationships - with God and others - have been ruled by performance. It seems like one of my life goals has been to do things well and right. This is not a bad thing in and of itself, I suppose, but when it becomes supreme, it is destructive. Unconditional love has been offered, but I have not been able to see and receive it.
Though hope has been fragile, it has not died. Somehow it has continued, woven within my tapestry, sometimes so deeply that even very close inspection of the fabric does not yield a glimpse. Yet, it remains.
I have borne, and continue to bear, much pain. I have been surrounded by blackness and despair. I am consumed by self-loathing. I long to destroy myself. I have wished for death.
I have tried to slip from the tight bonds of performance these past years; I have cut myself, cut my hair, pushed people away, deprived myself of nutrients, and done the things I've always wanted to. Somehow, by being "bad", I might understand unconditional love and acceptance.
Today I got a tattoo that symbolizes these themes. In my legalistic world, a tattoo is the embodiment of "bad" or "rebellion". Yet it clings to the possibility that there may yet be healing. rest. joy. acceptance. It represents the stand I take: the choice to live, the choice to cherish hope.