Day One: A Meaningful Imprint
Day One: In the Introduction of #YouAreEnough, I talk about my “Enough” tattoo and why it was important to me to have this word imprinted on my wrist. Talk about a tattoo you have that is meaningful to you…or if you don’t have any tattoos, the tattoo you would get if you were going to get one.
Since I’ve already shared the story behind my “Enough” tattoo, I thought I would share the story of another tattoo I get in the book, my “Let It Be” tattoo on my foot.
It was a matching tattoo I got with three of my girlfriends on a weekend kayaking trip. You know…one of those trips that ends up being one for the books. Here’s an excerpt from You Are Enough that explains why it was important for me to have those three words imprinted on my foot and my heart forever…
“When I was going through my social media archives to refresh my memories about kayaking weekend so I could write this chapter, I was struck by the smile on my face in the pictures and videos. That smile wasn’t there for the longest time. For a little while I thought it might never be there again. I thought to myself how I wished I could turn back the clock a few months and go tell that Mandy that her smile isn’t going to be missing forever. I wish I could tell her to hang in there…because happy, silly, carefree moments are going to come again. I wish I could tell her to keep pushing and fighting and showing up to her life and doing the hard work every day, because eventually everything that’s shifting on the inside will show up on the outside. Eventually the darkness will give way to the light. I wished I could tell her that there will be moments ahead that take her breath away from the sheer beauty instead of the sheer pain.
I wished I could tell her that losing herself was just another step to finding herself. I wished I could tell her that she was ENOUGH, just as she was then, and she would continue to be enough, even if she never changed a thing.
But I couldn’t. I can’t go back in time. What I can do is choose to smile and dance on and look back at all versions of me with fondness and gratitude that I am ever shifting, ever changing, ever evolving—and recognize how glorious the ebb and flow of life is, indeed.
At the beginning of this journey, I declared my “enough-ness” with a tattoo on my wrist. And now it was time to accept that enough-ness, and let it be. Let where I had been be. Let who and what I had lost be. Let my former life be. My new life may not be perfect, I may not be perfect – but it was enough. I was enough.
I was completely, totally, at peace with my “humanness.”
Lord knows I struggle and flounder and wander aimlessly at times. I fight to become the woman I’m meant to be and I fight against letting go of the woman I used to be all at the same time. I make mistakes and question everything and walk in anxiety far more often than I walk in faith…
But I love big and I love hard and I am fiercely loyal and crazy passionate and if I’m riding with you, you’ve got a ride or die friend FOR LIFE.
I bring the broken and sweaty and messy and imperfect because that’s exactly what this life is: broken and sweaty and messy and imperfect.
I’m gorgeously human.
Flawed and fabulous.
And I am ENOUGH.
You are enough.
It’s time for us to accept that.
Let It Be.”
You can get my book You Are Enough: Heartbreak, Healing, and Becoming Whole at any bookstore or order it here.
Join in my #30DayBloggingChallenge at any time! If you don’t have a blog, feel free to share your stories each day on any of your social media platforms, or even use the space in the comments below. Just make sure you tag your posts #YouAreEnough30 so we can all follow each other’s journeys!
In 2012, I got an infinity tattoo on the inside of my wrist that had the word Hope as part of it. 2011 had been a year of loss.
That New Year’s Day, a dear friend lost her husband (a high school friend of mine) in a tragic motorcycle accident. In October, another dear friend lost her only son (who was like a little brother to me) in a mysterious death. And finally, in November, another friend tragically lost her only daughter to an epileptic seizure. It was a very tough year. I came across a picture that said “H.O.P.E. Hold On Pain Ends”. It just struck me and stuck with me.
So, whenever I have had a rough time, I look at my wrist and try to remember that I have to have infinite hope.
In February I got an infinity tattoo with Let Go…..Let God…… it’s a reminder to Let Go of the life I had planned for myself and Let God lead me to wear I am meant to go…..
My daughter had always wanted a tattoo, I was unsure if I wanted one, or what to get. For her 19th birthday we decided to go and get our first tattoo’s together. Here’s the kicker, she would pick mine, and I would choose hers.. and we wouldn’t see them until they were finished. Yes, we did show my friend, to get her “approval” if you will. I choose a the sunflower, her favorite flower, I had the stem drawn in my handwriting with my favorite word.. BELIEVE.. to remind her to always Believe in HIM, to always Believe in herself, and Believe in His plan for her life. She choose a beautiful butterfly with the words in latin to read, She flies with her own wings.. to symbolize the fact that I am a strong, free and single woman who can manage and fly on my own!… #YouAreEnough30
I have many tattoos each with their own beautiful and personal meanings that I rarely explain. I graciously thank people for their compliments while never giving away the depth of thought, depression and pain that went into each and every design. It would be difficult to pick one that means the most to me but I will tell you about the one that best explains the secret thoughts I carry close to me.
On the top of my left arm of you’re looking at me you will see a tattoo of a very pretty face with brown hair, rosy lips and blushing cheeks peaking out from under my arm with a dreamy, almost seductive look in her green eyes. If I turn my arm and show you the other side of her face you would see the bones of her skull and the vibrant colours faded into black and grey.
You can’t easily tell at first glance that there is quite literally another and much darker side to the girl. It’s only if I choose to show you or if you take the time to look close enough at the details to see there is more to her than meets the eye.
[…] from Mandy Hale, NYT best selling author, and author of You Are Enough. This challenge is on Mandy’s blog, which is the one with the 30 day […]
My tattoo is on my left wrist and it’s the Sacred Heart. I love the meaning of it: it’s the long suffering love and compassion of the heart of Christ towards humanity.
It’s a reminder that I was uniquely made, that I’m loved, & that I’m enough!
Excellent challenge! I printed out your blog listing the 30 daily challenges and tonight I completed and posted the first day 1 topic on my WordPress blog. I am not sure how to link to this blog, sometimes I can be technically challenged! I also am encouraging my partner to join in the 30 day challenge. I’m sure we will learn more about each other in this process. It’s funny, I’ve never felt like I am enough for anyone, even for myself. I am slowly learning – at the ripe age of 56 that I CAN be enough and I AM enough…but I am always striving to be a better, kinder and more loving person, despite all my flaws and inadequacies. Thanks for the inspiration! I look forward to the next 30 days! ~MB
I don’t have any tattoos. I have came close and still at 47 want one. I just don’t like needles and have had enough pain in my life. So I have thought about it. Mine would be I really don’t know! Its so hard to decide. Hence why I don’t have one! I will have to think on it more.
The first tattoo I ever got was a heart with the Celtic symbol for beloved. It was based on Song of Solomon 7:10. For many many years , due to extensive abuse from my father growing up, moleststions nd sexual abuse, I beloved I was nothing. Ugly. Unworthy of love. Undesirable to anyone. I spent many years hating myself. Thankfully the God of love and mercy drew me to him, called me to study his word and minister to others, and the revelation that HE loved me and desired me was life changing. I have been walking intimately with him for 24 years❤️
I got a tattoo of an arrow a couple months ago. I told no one and I went by myself. I told the guy I wanted an arrow, on this arrow I want the feathers to be made with flames coming from them as if I got the feathers from the Phoenix as it was rising from the ashes. The story of the Phoenix always sticks with me. I have risen from the ashes not once, or twice, but many many times. I have had to endure things in my life that people would think were pulled from a fictional story. I fall back into the ashes so many times but my faith in life, humanity, God, the universe and all of my Angels who bring me signs every day, they all bring me out of the ashes, they come together and help me dust it off and my fire starts to spark sometimes a little sometimes a lot. The arrow itself symbolizes the fact that we too, have to be pulled back in order to go forward, to shoot for the moon, or any other target you set your eyes on. At times when we are pulled back we stay there for a while longer to get ready, gain focus, to get your breathing in sync. Sometimes we can’t let go because of uncertainties, insecurities, hesitations so we stay back there, or we go back to where we were and point down. My tattoo is pointed up though. I refuse to go down or not aim for something bigger. That is my reminder. #YouAreEnough30 #30daybloggingchallenge
My dear friend Tom and I decided to get tattoos for our 50th Birthday’s. In thinking about what I wanted to have burned into my skin permanently, I wanted it to have meaning to me, so on a trip to Morocco I saw the Hamsa symbol everywhere and it intrigued me, what stood out the most was the symbol as doorknockers on homes and hotel rooms. Someone said it has many meanings one of which felt good to me, as you enter may you have health, prosperity and fortune. I later saw the Hamsa prayer: Let no sadness come to this heart, Let no trouble come to these arms, Let no conflict come to these eyes,Let my soul be filled with the blessing of joy and peace.
Day 1 TATTOO
If I were to have a tattoo, it would be my life verse, John 1:12-13. It was Christmas day many years ago when I learned that when my mom was pregnant with me, my dad wanted to terminate the pregnancy. (My parents separated when I was four, I am turning 51 this month.) I cried so hard that day, Christmas day. I decided to open the Bible and the gospel reading (I am Catholic) for that day was the first chapter of John. And this verse got me:
John 1:12 But to those who did accept him he gave power to become children of God, to those who believe in his name,
John 1:13 who were born not by natural generation nor by human choice nor by a man’s decision but of God.
Right there and then, from feeling like “nobody’s child”, I became “God’s child”. It was God assuring me that ever since I was born, He was always beside me, taking my dad’s place.
My father passed away in 1999 & I have since forgiven him.
After I got divorced in the ‘90’s , I got my first tattoo. I did my big leap of faith because I decided to move from an island to a big city. With that move I also decided to get a ying/yang tattoo, in a place where no one would see it, only me.. the tattoo was my symbol of balance… and in a way, Peace with myself. As the years went by…. I became fascinated of the stories people with tattoos will tell me when I asked. I would see the sparkle in their eyes and the smile in their faces. I grew up older and got more tattoos and with them I became free of thinking of anyone’s judgement. I got one that reminds me of faith when a second marriage failed because of verbal abuse and another one that says strong when my dad passed away because he was always such a good husband tho my mom and such a good dad… with these skin imprinted symbols I made myself stronger inside…..
I fot mine here! Thank you Mandy