I have a fun, somewhat controversial ‘idea’ to share about. I have recently been toying with the idea of getting a tattoo for my thirtieth birthday. It is not the first time I have considered it, but I have yet to get one because I never really took the possibility seriously…until now.
More than I would like to admit I have based my decisions on how I live my life or what I do (concerning almost ANYTHING) on what others think or approve of…especially my significant other. I am DESPERATE for approval and have this deep seated fear that if I do something ‘against the rules’ or that my spouse doesn’t approve of that he is going to leave me or be angry with me.
I know, I know…it’s super ridiculous. And it’s even more ridiculous because I KNOW that no matter what I do my husband absolutely loves me and his love will not change if I decide to get a tattoo. However, due to my past and my former relationship, I have a ton of issues with feelings of abandonment or rejection and approval seeking behavior.
The bright side to all this is that I am becoming more self aware and really figuring out what do I need to work on within myself. My insecurities and my challenges may not have started off as my fault, and they may have been exemplified by the way others treated me, but when it comes down to it, I ALONE have the power to accept and realize why I am the way I am and to DO something about it. I can choose when those familiar thoughts and doubts start creeping in to be brave and have confidence in my own choices. I can choose to put any worry I have about my spouse’s love being dependent on a superficial choice I make on the back burner. And I can choose that even if my choice is something he is not happy with that it is still MY choice and my choices and opinions have value.
I am not advocating for disrespecting your spouse or throwing all consideration for them out the window…absolutely not. But what I am advocating for is mutual respect and self respect. There are some situations where a choice may be more serious and in those situations I believe in discussion and working together to find a solution. But in the average day to day scenarios, should I buy that $5 drink at Starbucks…should I chop my hair off…I REALLY want to go have dinner with my friends tonight…I’m thinking about getting a tattoo…that is my decision to make. And YES I will weigh in and get my husband’s opinion, or family, friends, what have you, but ultimately I am my own person and I have the right to make my own decisions.
And these little decisions do hold a lot of weight for me. I come from a previous relationship where I did ask permission for everything, I NEVER went anywhere by myself, I NEVER spent money I worked hard for, I chose not to go to school for years because it was my ‘job’ to put my ex through Nursing school. I chose not to be on birth control because my ex did not approve. I chose to let ALL of my friendships die because I needed to spend all my time with him. I got in trouble for trying or doing anything that was not in his realm of approval. I got tired of playing the submissive wife and being treated like a child. I left that relationship…the one choice I AM proud of…because it brought me to my husband who loves and values me and together we have three beautiful children.
As always, I am a work in progress, and it will take time to change the habits that are ingrained in me. But I know that I do not have to live life asking for permission and neither should you. So here’s to having more confidence in what you want, enjoying life, and knowing yourself. And if I do decide to get that tattoo I will keep you posted.