Within 10 minutes of coming up with the idea for these two tattoos I wrote exactly the following:
On my right forearm I would get the knot, and on the left forearm the same rope but just straight. Ultimately they are about acceptance. Accepting myself for who and what I am, and accepting others for whoever and whatever they may be. In a sense the knot is No Agenda, and the straight rope is No Timeline. The knot is how we often perceive life: a knot that has to be tied or untied in order to feel ecstasy, or joy, bliss, or contentment. We make our lives complex and complicated. But experiencing ecstasy, joy, bliss, and contentment is simple, as long as you don't judge yourself or judge others. Just be. Live in the now. Accept. Don't tie knots, be the straight rope.
Five months ago in August I adopted the mantra No Agenda, No Timeline. There was a discussion involving expectations and since I believe anger, frustration, and depression derive from the difference between expectations and reality, I try not to have expectations. To convey this during the discussion I said no agenda, no timeline. Don't force it. Don't box yourself in with preconceived notions. Go with the dynamic. Let all of your relationships grow out of sharing over time. No Agenda, No Timeline.
In September I read a book called The Four Agreements. As a result I created four agreements with myself. Two of them are extensions of No Agenda, No Timeline.
- I will recognize who someone is, what place they have in my life, accept them and their role in my life, treat them accordingly, and know that they might change and if so I will change my attitude with them.
- I will make peace with who and what I am, know and understand what motivates me, and live within those motivations.
For several months I worked to ingrain these concepts into my life and into my being. It wasn't quick and easy. I had to keep reminding myself, keep working at it. I am still working at it, and still reminding myself. I probably always will be. For several months these concepts percolated.
A few weeks ago I was reading an article and this picture of knots was used as a graphic. The article was not about the knots, they were not even mentioned. I searched for the source of the image. Was it from a philosophy? Used to explain some concept or lesson? Seems to simply have been created by a graphic artist.
One week ago I was lying in bed on a lazy Sunday morning, staring at the ceiling and contemplating life. All of these elements swirled together in my thoughts and the idea of the straight, untied rope in juxtaposition to the knotted rope floated into my mind. Symbols for my first and second tattoos.
We make knots in ourselves and our lives. We erroneously believe we have to untie knots in order to experience joy or contentment.
There is no knot.