The Unruining

The Unruining

There was a quiet buzz emanating from an oddly sacred hall. I sat on a table with my ankle bared and laid in the hands of a talented stranger having asked him to leave a lasting mark.


No longer ruined. Even in the months after the ink had healed, I contemplated all the ways the statement represented truth to me. I was ruined in my own mind by abuse and divorce and business failures and physical short-comings and mental or emotional setbacks. Spiritual authorities had told me that I was ruining my connection with God by the choices I was making in my life – realities I had spent years running from until they nearly killed me.

The unruining wasn’t a “born again” experience that my evangelical roots might like me to describe here. It was a both a personal and spiritual empowerment that came with the realization that I need not surrender any ruining power to any one or any thing outside of my own skin. The connection I experienced with God was grounding.

By sorting out my awareness of life from the burdens of dogma, I moved from ruined to unruined; from broken to healed.

It wasn’t that I lowered any standards to meet my low accomplishments; I totally jumped off the scale. I saw God and my own physical and spiritual existence from a new perspective. I moved from religion that weighed my soul to a mindfulness of God that inspired a love of life.

I got to spend some time this week with Malia, a long time friend and the inspiration for my “Unruined” ink. Her journey to unruined is different than mine. No doubt yours is different from either of ours. The journey is different, but the themes are common: embrace ourselves as we press forward to something more bright and beautiful than we knew the day before but not yet what we will know tomorrow.

“Unruined” is a life of hope, light and peace. And I’m so grateful to have it written on my soul…and my ankle!

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