Tattoos are irritating. Sometimes the level of irritation skates along the border of out-and-out pain, but for the most part they are simply irritating. I have had tattoos where I didn’t react at all to the irritation, and others where my reactions could win me the World [su_wp]Gurn[/su_wp]ing Championship. Still, you get something out of the discomfort of being tattooed, an artistic addition to the self that, even at its worst, is a marker of ones history.
I’ve been trying to think of a way to look at other irritants with a similarly forgiving eye. The key seems to be to find something to take away from each situation, item or person that will better me in some way: something learned, perhaps, or fuel for my (more productive) fires. It has been difficult learning how to be irritated in a productive way, as previously all my anger, irritation or blame was focused inward. One needs no grace, no politic, no etiquette in attacking oneself. Unleashing that same storm on an external source, however, is not a good strategy. For now, this “looking at each irritant as a teacher or font of energy” may be my best tack.