Silencing Yourself


I finally got the tattoo I have wanted since I decided I would be getting tattoos. It’s big and that is the primary reason I have not gotten it until now. It wasn’t the size that was preventing me from wanting it but rather it was the size that I figured people would judge. Especially since I have expressed previous intentions of entering into ministry work after graduation. I know for a fact that camps and churches have some serious stigmas against tattoos, which is incredibly unfortunate but was the reason I had put off getting this tattoo for so long. But finally I realized something…after two months of thought and consideration…even if I do end up working for a ministry after graduation I will still want this tattoo. And if that organization does not want to hire me because I have a tattoo, then quite frankly I don’t want to work for them.

I realized that I really like tattoos and plan on getting more. Also, one day I plan on dreading my hair and even though stereotypes exist against this style/image of people it’s a big part of who I am. I realized that I have been silencing part of myself because someone might not hire me in the future. But when I was finally honest with myself I realized I didn’t want them to hire me if they don’t support tattoos and dreads. I realized that I won’t stop being me anymore in order to please other people, because that’s not healthy for my well-being. I’ve been silent for most of my life when it comes to what I want to do and I’m finally done with that. I’m done silencing myself.

When I had this realization it was really great. I went out within two days and got my new tattoo, the one I have wanted for a very long time and I was pumped. But there was something I forgot to do. I forgot to tell anyone about why I decided to get the tattoo and because of that silence I ended up hurting a dear friend who I never desired to hurt.

You see I have lived almost all of my life not voicing my actual opinion about things because I have never felt valued. So, when I had a life changing realization about myself it didn’t occur that I should tell people about it…especially the friend who had just expressed they wanted a very similar tattoo on their foot…

I didn’t know it but I had deeply wounded this friend—something I never wanted or intended to do. Because I silenced myself I caused someone else pain. Because I didn’t believe my insight had value, because I didn’t believe I had value, I hurt a friend.

Now, my friend is great and she finally, after a week and a half, got around to telling me that she was pissed at me. I explained why I got my tattoo and she told me I had to stop devaluing myself and believe that people genuinely care about my insights. Then she forgave me.

The past few days have been packed full of “ah ha” moments when it comes to the subject of me silencing myself. I have realized that it simply isn’t good for anyone—especially not me. Because even though it’s hard and I am definitely only beginning to believe this, I am discovering that I am worthwhile. I’m realizing that the Lord calls me His beloved and that’s all the affirmation I really need. He calls me worthy, loved, His child, and I am learning to believe it. So I’m not silencing myself anymore. I’m speaking up.

-Hannah

P.s. About the whole not-posting-in-eight-months thing…sorry. I was writing a book. Be expecting a post about that soon, because I’m pretty stinking pumped about it!

P.p.s. Here is a picture of the tattoo :D

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