Well, 2009 is finally here and I can say that I'm so thankful to put 2008 behind me and that I'm excited about the possibilities this new year has in store for me. I'm hopeful that It will bring better health and the opportunity to explore and experience a lot of things that have been put on hold for the last two years.
With that said, I have a new mascot/symbol that I'm living by -- the lotus flower. Lotus flowers grow from muddy swamps into beautiful symbols of creation and rebirth. As you can imagine this meaning touches my heart and my belief that something positive always comes from something negative. I feel this symbol was made for me and is a sign to keep on trucking, even when things are looking as ugly as possible.
So how you ask am I keeping the lotus flower close to me. Well -- drum roll please -- on my birthday this past November, I did something neither I nor anyone that knows me thought I would ever even consider doing, I got a TATTOO. I know, I know pick your jaws up off the floor, you are thinking, can't be, Al, the good girl, no way?! But yes it's true.
I had been considering it for months and after some great support from wonderful friends I took the plunge on my 29th bday. The beautiful tattoo is located on my right hip bone just below where my stoma/ileostomy used to be. I chose this location because now when I look at my stomach, instead of seeing two large scars, I see a symbol of all that I'm going through. It makes me proud of what I've accomplished thus far and positive that even though things are still a little dark it will all work out in the end. Getting the tattoo was one of the most freeing experiences of my life and I cried, not because it hurt, but because I felt a release of so much pent up emotions about this lovely journey. I mean don't get me wrong it didn't feel good, but please that little needle is nothing compared to being poked and prodded and cut from your navel to your pubic bone. I look at it everyday and smile, I'm so glad I was a rebel for a day!!!
I also have another special gift of the lotus flower. For Christmas my awesome brother and sister-in-law somehow found a small necklace with a very dainty silver lotus flower on it. It came with a card titled: New Beginnings and had the definition of a lotus flower. It also says to let the necklace remind you of your own beauty and strength!
I mean come on, how much more perfect could it be. I was so touched and surprised by this gift and also see it as a sign. I love the necklace and will cherish it every day.
For now I'm just including a general pic of the lotus flower, maybe someday when I'm feeling really brave, I'll post a pic of the tattoo in it's home with the scars that also mark this journey. I'll spare you all from that for a while;)
So as we head into 2009, I will keep the meaning of the lotus flower at the forefront. I wish you all the best year possible as well.