As I walked into the tattoo parlor totally out of my comfort zone and quite honestly a little freaked out I heard a voice coming from above. “Come up here.” Is that you God? Are you trying to tell me something? As it turns out it was just the owner upstairs where they do all of the tattooing. There wasn’t anyone on the main floor and they have video cameras to see when someone enters the building. It wasn’t the voice of God, just the tattoo guy.
As I walked through those front doors completely out of my element and comfort zone, my first initial thought was I can’t believe I am doing this. I can’t believe I am going to follow through on something that scares the living daylights out of me and something that is exciting.
My second thought was, is this how people feel when they walk into a gym? Do they feel out of their element and completely out of their comfort zone? A little scared and a little excited.
In the past I had never really been a big fan of tattoos. I was never against them, it just didn’t seem like it was something that I would ever do. But I am not that same person. That person that plays it safe and cares what people think. I am not that person that looks for external validation any more.
TAKING A CHANCE ON MYSELF
The reason I got this tattoo is that it represents that I am willing to take a chance on myself. It’s a personal internal commitment to myself that I will live my life boldly and with courage. It’s a commitment to myself that I am willing to get out of my comfort zone so I can make a difference in the world that I am called to make. That I am willing to show up big and not shrink back.
I want to share with you the story behind the tattoo. When my coach, Kimberly Dawson from Revolution Business and Life Design first told me that I should brand myself as a Spiritual Warrior I pushed back with everything I had. I resisted it with all of my being. I didn’t feel like a Spiritual Warrior. I was so used to playing small that being a Spiritual Warrior sounded too big for me. I didn’t feel like I could step into that role. Quite honestly it scared me. What will people think of me if I call myself a Spiritual Warrior? Will they think I am weird? Or think who does this guy think he is?
I fell into the usual trap of caring what people think about me. Of wanting to be liked. Of being the Christian nice guy. And as Dr. Phil would always ask, “How’s that working out for you?” Well the answer to that over the years is not very good.
For me to make the personal internal commitment of having Spiritual Warrior tattooed on my arm shows me how far I have come on my journey of becoming and believing I am a Spiritual Warrior. So what is a Spiritual Warrior anyways? A Spiritual Warrior is someone who goes on a journey of self-discovery and enlightenment for a transcendent cause greater than oneself. Quite simply a Spiritual Warrior is someone who is willing to live our lives for others rather than for ourselves.
IT’S ABOUT THE JOURNEY
I think the key word here is journey. It’s a lifelong endeavor. It’s about who we are becoming and the character we build along the way. We never fully arrive and that’s OK. We just keep moving forward. We keep getting back in the arena. We learn from our many failures, dust ourselves off and get back in the game. That is the journey I am on of being a Spiritual Warrior.
For me, the ultimate Spiritual Warrior is Jesus. That is what the three nails on my arm represents. The sacrifice that Jesus made for me on the cross. Each nail has a significant meaning for me.
The first nail represents mystery. It’s embracing the mystery of our great and wonderful God. It represents being joyful in the unknown. It is believing that God has a great plan for my life and living each and every day like it were my last.
The second nail represents surrender. To show up fully present in the world knowing that I am enough. That I will be vulnerable and courageous in the pursuit of my purpose and mission. That I am willing to be more visible to show people the light in a dark world so more people can experience the invisible power of God.
The third nail represents forgiveness. We all have a story. We all have scars. This nail calls for me to live a life of compassion and service. To know that there are hurting people in this world and to be a source of healing.
As you can see, this is not just a tattoo. This is the story that God is writing of my life. As I look back on how far I have come since I gave my life to Christ I am blown away. There have be many challenges along the way, but there has been so much personal and spiritual growth. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
Moving forward my personal internal commitment is to continue on this journey of being a Spiritual Warrior. To create a life of abundance. To live a life full of joy, vulnerability and compassion. The scripture that most resonates with me is John 10:10. “The thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
I AM ON A MISSION
I am on a mission to build a movement of men who are willing to go on this journey with me of becoming a Spiritual Warrior. My vision is to impact 1,000,000 men’s lives through this tribe of Spiritual Warriors. The journey to 1,000,000 men starts with one. Will you be that one who is willing to take a chance on yourself so you can live the life of your dreams? So you can live a life of purpose feeling fully alive.
The first step to being part of this community is to sign up for my Spiritual Warrior’s Unite Newsletter and becoming part of our Spiritual Warriors Unite Facebook group.
One thing we must never forget that what is done for ourselves will quickly be forgotten, but what we do for others will be remembered for eternity. The choice is yours.
Troy Ismir, MS
Speaker, Author and Spiritual Warrior Coach