Many years ago our youngest son was in his last year or two of college when he called us on a Sunday afternoon. My husband took the call and I watched his face go from surprise to amusement as he heard the news our son was sharing. Feeling left out, I motioned to my husband to let me in on the announcement, so he looked at me and mouthed these words, “He got a tattoo.” Not the news I was expecting, and I was not amused.
Our kids were all young adults ranging in age from 20-26 at that time, and from their early teens they were well aware of how I felt about tattoos. They are so permanent! And for this reason alone, I discouraged (OK, I lectured, threatened and forbade) them from getting one. Obviously, my protests had lost steam by child number four, and he chose to get “inked” during his summer break from school. Naively, I was under the assumption that our kids had wisely marched through the impressionable years of immaturity without needling lasting images into their
A few weeks later we all got together at our oldest daughter’s home. With everyone sitting out on the front porch having a nice chat, the subject of the tattoo came up. I stood up, with my wagging finger in the face of our son, who now sported an image of Bob Dylan across his left ribcage. “If you start something with the other kids, by getting that tattoo, and anyone else gets one…blah, blah, blah.” I say, “blah, blah” because I suddenly noticed the darting eyes of all four of our kids. Everyone looking at each other, then at me, then at the floor, or the horizon, or the fly in their lemonade. The silence was uncomfortable until someone said, “Well, what if they already have a tattoo?” And the confessions began.
As it turns out, three of our four children have tattoos, the difference being that the other two kids’ tats were in places I would likely never see because they were sitting on them. Sneaky.
I didn’t stay mad. What was the point? And besides, their relief at having the “secret” out in the open was palpable.
Recently some high-profile young people behaved badly. And when they were caught, they made up a lie. Ryan Lochte, an Olympic-level swimmer from the United States, and three of his teammates, vandalized a bathroom in Brazil. When they were caught, they concocted a lie about being robbed, and Ryan texted the story to his mother. Soon, the media caught wind and the lie perpetuated. As the story grew, it was disputed by the Brazilian government and an investigation ensued. My first reaction was disgust. Here are some of our finest athletes, representing our country in the Olympic games, and they’re out in the wee hours of the morning tearing up a public bathroom in the host country of Brazil. I hope Ryan Lochte’s mother wagged a finger in her son’s face when he got home. I suspect someone did, because he came clean…sort of. He changed his turquoise-colored hair back to a more natural brown, and agreed to an interview where he admitted to “over-exaggerating” the story. As the investigation continues, I’m sure Ryan and his teammates are feeling an array of emotions. Probably embarrassment. Humiliation. And hopefully regret for their actions. But buried beneath the burden of guilt, I’m guessing they might feel a sense of relief. The truth will be revealed, restitution will be made, and life will go on.
The discipline of yoga follows a code of conduct written thousands of years ago. Known as the Eight Limbs of Yoga, it begins with the Yamas, which are the commandments, or goals of ethical living. “Satya” means truth and is the highest rule of conduct within the Yamas. Satya calls for living with integrity, and speaking your truth with clarity. Come clean, confess, and take responsibility. Because lies burgeon within; feeding on focus and attention. And more lies are created to substantiate the original, until obscurity dominates the mind, and we suffer the ills of what we hold inside.
Truthfulness is like a muscle. When we use it with intention and daily practice, it will grow and become stronger. When we are truthful with ourselves and with others, we are free. There is nothing to hide. There is nothing to be ashamed of. And there’s nothing we have to stamp on our backside to keep it out of the view of our mother.
Laurie Kasperbauer, RYT 200, enjoys the spiritual and physical benefits of yoga practice and instructs both group and private classes. Laurie is also an active Florida realtor specializing in properties in Naples and Marco Island. She can be reached at Harborview Realty, 291 S. Collier Blvd., Marco Island, or by calling 712-210-3853.